Letter | Published:

Alleged Role of Fructofuranose in the Synthesis of Levan

Nature volume 154, page 581 (04 November 1944) | Download Citation



THE view was long widely entertained that cells synthesize macromolecules of polysaccharides and proteins by a reversion of the process of hydrolysis. It has been suggested accordingly that the synthesis of the polyfructoside levan specifically from aldo-sido< >fructofuranosides (sucrose, raffinose) involves two distinct steps: first, hydrolysis of the substrate; secondly, polymerization of fructofuranose by a condensation involving removal of water1. Bacteria which form levan from sucrose do so also from raffinose2. This polymerative type of sucrose degradation is concurrent with an ordinary hydrolytic inversion3,4. The same bacteria ferment levan3. Investigators might be tempted by these correlations to consider the enzyme system, levansucrase, to be but a mixture of invertase and polyfructosidase. It is shown below, however, that this view cannot be valid.

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  1. Chemistry Department, Cancer Research Laboratories, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Aug. 28.

    • S. HESTRIN


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