Influence of Introduction of a Fructosyl Group into Galactosylglucoses on their β-Galactosidase-inducing Activity

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INTRODUCTION of a fructose group at the reducing carbon position of melibiose (to form raffinose) is known to abolish the β-galactosidase-inducing capacity of this α-galactoside in Escherichia coli 1,2. The question arises whether this effect of the fructose group applies also to induction effected by β-galactosides. A study was therefore made of the β-galactosidase-inducing capacity of an homologous β-galactosidic oligosaccharide pair, namely, the pair lactose and α-lactosyl-β-fructofuranoside3. This last sugar, which will be referred to as ‘lactsucrose’, has a terminal β-galactosidic linkage, and is readily cleaved to galactose and sucrose both by E. coli K–12 β-galactosidase in solution and by a washed suspension of lactose-induced cells of this strain (Table 1). It proved, however, to be a negligible inducer of the (β-galactosidase. Thus, the relative behaviour of lactose and lactsucrose resembles that of melibiose and raffinose in respect of the capacity to induce β-galactosidase in E. coli K–12. Moreover, it has also been shown recently that raffinose can be metabolized by melibiose-induced cells6. This indicates that raffinose is able to penetrate such cells. The cleavage of lactsucrose by lactose-induced cells indicates similarly that lactsucrose can enter these cells.

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AVIGAD, G. Influence of Introduction of a Fructosyl Group into Galactosylglucoses on their β-Galactosidase-inducing Activity. Nature 181, 554–555 (1958) doi:10.1038/181554a0

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