Enzymes from solvent-tolerant microbes: useful biocatalysts for non-aqueous enzymology

Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
Anshu Gupta, S K Khare


Solvent-tolerant microbes are a newly emerging class that possesses the unique ability to thrive in the presence of organic solvents. Their enzymes adapted to mediate cellular and metabolic processes in a solvent-rich environment and are logically stable in the presence of organic solvents. Enzyme catalysis in non-aqueous/low-water media is finding increasing applications for the synthesis of industrially important products, namely peptides, esters, and other trans-esterification products. Solvent stability, however, remains a prerequisite for employing enzymes in non-aqueous systems. Enzymes, in general, get inactivated or give very low rates of reaction in non-aqueous media. Thus, early efforts, and even some recent ones, have aimed at stabilization of enzymes in organic media by immobilization, surface modifications, mutagenesis, and protein engineering. Enzymes from solvent-tolerant microbes appear to be the choicest source for studying solvent-stable enzymes because of their unique ability to survive in the presence of a range of organic solvents. These bacteria circumvent the solvent's toxic effects by virtue of various adaptations, e.g. at the level of the cytoplasmic membrane, by degradation and transformation of solven...Continue Reading


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