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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2003 Jan;60(5):507-14. Epub 2002 Dec 11.

Biotechnological applications of penicillin acylases: state-of-the-art.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular I, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


This review describes the most recent developments in the biotechnological applications of penicillin acylases. This group of enzymes is involved mainly in the industrial production of 6-aminopenicillanic acid and the synthesis of semisynthetic beta-lactam antibiotics. In addition, penicillin acylases can also be employed in other useful biotransformations, such as peptide synthesis and the resolution of racemic mixtures of chiral compounds. Particular emphasis is placed on advances in detection of new enzyme specificities towards other natural penicillins, enzyme immobilization, and optimization of enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis and synthesis in the presence of organic solvents.

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