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Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2009;29(2):182-98. doi: 10.1080/07388550902919571.

Molecular characterization, physicochemical properties, known and potential applications of phytases: An overview.

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  • 1Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India.

Abstract

Phytases (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate phosphohydrolases) hydrolyze the phosphate ester bonds of phytate-releasing phosphate and lower myo-inositol phosphates and/or myo-inositol. Phytases, in general, are known to enhance phosphate and mineral uptake in monogastric animals such as poultry, swine, and fish, which cannot metabolize phytate besides reducing environmental pollution significantly. In this study, the molecular, biophysical, and biochemical properties of phytases are reviewed in detail. Alterations in the molecular and catalytic properties of phytases, upon expression in heterologous hosts, are discussed. Diverse applications of phytases as feed additives, as soil amendment, in aquaculture, development of transgenic organisms, and as nutraceuticals in the human diet also are dealt with. Furthermore, phytases are envisaged to serve as potential enzymes that can produce versatile lower myo-inositol phosphates of pharmaceutical importance. Development of phytases with improved attributes is an important area being explored through genetic and protein engineering approaches, as no known phytase can fulfill all the properties of an ideal feed additive.

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