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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Feb;85(6):1735-50. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2398-5. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Biochemical features of microbial keratinases and their production and applications.

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1
Laboratório de Bioquímica e Microbiologia Aplicada, Departamento de Ciência de Alimentos, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, Brazil. abrand@ufrgs.br

Abstract

Keratinases are exciting proteolytic enzymes that display the capability to degrade the insoluble protein keratin. These enzymes are produced by diverse microorganisms belonging to the Eucarya, Bacteria, and Archea domains. Keratinases display a great diversity in their biochemical and biophysical properties. Most keratinases are optimally active at neutral to alkaline pH and 40-60 degrees Celsius, but examples of microbial keratinolysis at alkalophilic and thermophilic conditions have been well documented. Several keratinases have been associated to the subtilisin family of serine-type proteases by analysis of their protein sequences. Studies with specific substrates and inhibitors indicated that keratinases are often serine or metalloproteases with preference for hydrophobic and aromatic residues at the P1 position. Keratinolytic enzymes have several current and potential applications in agroindustrial, pharmaceutical, and biomedical fields. Their use in biomass conversion into biofuels may address the increasing concern on energy conservation and recycling.

PMID:
20039036
DOI:
10.1007/s00253-009-2398-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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