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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 Oct;60(1-2):33-44. Epub 2002 Sep 6.

The nitrile-degrading enzymes: current status and future prospects.

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  • 1Department of Biotechnology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Sector-67, Mohali, Punjab 160062, India.


Nitrile-converting enzymes are becoming commonplace in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and commodity chemicals. These versatile biocatalysts have potential applications in different fields including synthetic biocatalysis and bioremediation. This review attempts to describe in detail the three major classes of nitrile-converting enzymes, namely nitrilases, nitrile hydratases and amidases. Various aspects of these enzymes including their occurrence, mechanism of action, characteristics and applicability in different sectors have been elaborately elucidated. Cloning of genes related to nitrile-converting enzymes is also discussed.

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