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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2002 Jan;97(1):45-62.

Archaeal tetraether lipids: unique structures and applications.

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Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, The University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.


The extremely stable biomolecules manufactured by organisms from extreme environments are of great scientific and engineering interest in the development of robust and stable industrial biocatalysts. Identification of molecules that impart stability under extremes will also have a profound impact on our understanding of cellular survival. This review discusses isolation and characterization of archaeal tetraethers as well as target technologies for tetraether lipid application. The isolation and characterization of archaeal tetraether lipids has led to some interesting applications improving on ester lipid technologies. Potential applications include novel lubricants, gene-delivery systems, monolayer lipid matrices for sensor devices, and protein stabilization. Following this review, patent abstracts and additional literature pertaining to the isolation, characterization, and application of archaeal membrane lipids are listed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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