Welcome to the webpages of the Division of Glycoscience in the KTH School of Biotechnology!
Principal Investigator (PI): Assoc. Prof. Harry Brumer, VR Rådsforskare
Research area: Carbohydrate enzymology and applications
Office phone: +46 (0)8 5537 8367
Address: Please see the address page.
The focus of our Enzymology Research Group is to understand the way in which particular enzymes act to alter the structure of wood fibers. We are concerned primarily with the carbohydrate-active enzymes which synthesize (eg., glycosyl transferases, transglycosidases) or degrade (eg., glycoside hydrolases) glycosidic bonds.
We employ a wide variety of tools to understand more about enzymes relevant to fiber modification:
- Organic chemistry and chemical biology: synthesis of modified substrates as probes of enzyme mechanism or to introduce specific chemical functionality into carbohydrate polymers.
- Protein biochemistry: purification and basic characterization of native and heterologously expressed enzymes.
- Mechanistic enzymology: thorough examination of enzyme mechanisms using specifically designed substrates and detailed kinetic analyses.
- Protein engineering: rational modification of enzymes for fiber modification using knowledge of protein structure and enzyme mechanism.
- Protein mass spectrometry/proteomics: identification and analysis of proteins and enzymes involved in cell wall polysaccharide biosynthesis. In addition, we perform medium-throughput protein quality-control analysis for the Structural Genomics Consortium and have previously done the same for the Human Protein Atlas project.
We are particularly interested in the xyloglucan endo-transglycosylases (XET), enzymes involved in the remodelling of the cell wall polysaccharide xyloglucan. Our work on XETs exemplifies our approach of using knowledge gained through fundamental enzymology to guide the development of new enzyme applications. A concise summary of our cellulose biomaterials research can be found on the Polysaccharide Biomased Materials Center News Harvest.
Our work has been funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, VINNOVA, the Biofibre Materials Centre (BiMaC), the European Commission (EDEN, ECOTARGET), and the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
- Baumann, Eklöf, Michel, Kallas, Teeri, Czjzek and Brumer (2007) Structural evidence for the evolution of xyloglucanase activity from xyloglucan endo-transglycosylases: Biological implications for cell wall metabolism. Plant Cell, 19, 1947-1963. DOI:10.1105/tpc.107.051391.
- Teeri, Brumer, Daniel and Gatenholm (2007) Biomimetic engineering of cellulose-based materials. Trends Biotech., 25, 299-306. DOI:10.1016/j.tibtech.2007.05.002
- Zhou, Greffe, Baumann, Malmström, Teeri, and Brumer, H. (2005) The use of xyloglucan as a molecular anchor for the elaboration of polymers from cellulose surfaces: a general route for the design of biocomposites. Macromolecules, 38, 3547-3549. DOI:10.1021/ma047712k
- Greffe, Bessueille, Bulone and Brumer H. (2005) Synthesis, preliminary characterization, and application of novel surfactants from highly branched xyloglucan oligosaccharides. Glycobiology, 15, 437-445. DOI:10.1093/glycob/cwi013
- Sundqvist, Stenvall, Berglund, Ottosson, and Brumer (2007) A general, robust method for the quality control of intact proteins using LC-ESI-MS. J. Chrom. B, 852, 188-194. DOI:10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.01.011
- Chunlin Xu, post-doctoral scientist, 2009 - present
- Oliver Spadiut, post-doctoral scientist, 2009 - present
- Johan Larsbrink, post-graduate student, 2008 - present
- Fredrika Gullfot, post-graduate student, 2007 - present (Licentiate 2009)
- Jens Eklöf, post-graduate student, 2006 - present (Licentiate 2009)
- Nomchit Kaewthai, post-graduate student, 2006 - present
- Gustav Sundqvist, post-doctoral scientist, Bulone group (project-based co-supervision), mass spectrometry, 2008 - present
Alumni and theses from the group
- Farid Ibatullin, visiting scientist, 2006 - 2009
- Niklas Nordgren, 2004 - 2009 (co-supervised with Prof. Mark Rutland) (Licentiate 2007, Ph.D. 2009)
- Gustav Sundqvist, 2005 - 2008 (Ph.D. 2008)
- Lage Ahrenstedt, 2005 - 2007 (Licentiate 2007)
- Martin Baumann, 2001 - 2007 (co-supervised with Prof. Tuula Teeri) (Licentiate 2004, Ph.D. 2007)
Throughout the years we have had fruitful collaborations with numerous scientists both nationally and internationally, whose names can be found as co-authors in our joint peer-reviewed scientific publications.
In additional to those within the Glycoscience group and Biomime center, we currently have active collaborations with the following scientists and their groups:
- Dr. Pekka Mark, KTH Theoretical Chemistry, Stockholm, Sweden
- Prof. Mats Ohlin, Lund Univeristy, Sweden
- Dr. Mirjam Czjzek, CNRS Roscoff, France
- Prof. Gideon Davies, University of York, UK
- Prof. Harry Gilbert, Newcastle University, UK
- Dr. Elias Retulainen, VTT Jyväskylä, Finland
- Dr. Ewa Mellerowicz, Umeå Plant Science Center, Sweden
- Prof. Maija Tenkanen, University of Helsinki, Finland
- Dr. Kris Vissenberg, University of Antwerp, Belgium
I have been active in teaching at the undergraduate and Master's level as a lecturer (Wood Biotechnology, 3A1513) and course organizer/lecturer (Enzyme Technology, BB2190; 2006-2008). I am currently the organizer of and primary lecturer in the course [Glycobiology and Carbohydrate Technology (BB2420), which replaced Enzyme Technology (BB2190) from Fall 2009. More information on the course may be found here.