Conventional industrial techniques for glycosylating organic compounds rely upon multi-step organic synthesis reactions; these reactions usually require toxic reagents and solvents and are not readily reversible. Glycosyltransferase enzymes represent a superior way to perform the same task. Not only do they not require toxic compounds, they also perform the reaction in one reversible step. The ramifications of this reversibility are that the relative abundance of the modified and un-modified forms of the compound can be regulated via addition or removal of the different forms.
"The exploitation of GT-catalyzed reaction reversibility may facilitate the use of glycosylation as a tool to modulate the activity of therapeutically important natural products...GT-catalyzed reactions could be modulated via simple adjustments in relative substrate concentrations. Glycosyltransfer reversibility could be exploited to synthesize valuable rare NDP-sugars, exchange one sugar on a core scaffold for another, or transfer sugars from one scaffold to another." (Zhang et al. 2006:1293)