A review on selective L-fucose/D-arabinose isomerases for biocatalytic production of L-fuculose/D-ribulose

Muhammad Waheed Iqbal, Tahreem Riaz, Shahid Mahmood, Khubaib Ali, Imran Mahmood Khan, Abdur Rehman, Wenli Zhang, Wanmeng Mu

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


L-Fuculose and D-ribulose are kinds of rare sugars used in food, agriculture, and medicine industries. These are pentoses and categorized into the two main groups, aldo pentoses and ketopentoses. There are 8 aldo- and 4 ketopentoses and only fewer are natural, while others are rare sugars found in a very small amount in nature. These sugars have great commercial applications, especially in many kinds of drugs in the medicine industry. The synthesis of these sugars is very expensive, difficult by chemical methods due to its absence in nature, and could not meet industry demands. The pentose izumoring strategy offers a complete enzymatic tactic to link all kinds of pentoses using different enzymes. The enzymatic production of L-fuculose and D-ribulose through L-fucose isomerase (L-FI) and D-arabinose isomerase (D-AI) is the inexpensive and uncomplicated method up till now. Both enzymes have similar kinds of isomerizing mechanisms and each enzyme can catalyze both L-fucose and D-arabinose. In this review article, the enzymatic process of biochemically characterized L-FI & D-AI, their application to produce L-fuculose and D-ribulose and its uses in food, agriculture, and medicine industries are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-571
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • D-arabinose isomerase
  • D-ribulose
  • L-fucose isomerase
  • L-fuculose
  • Rare sugars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Energy


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