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Biotechnology (N Y). 1995 Jul;13(7):662-8.

Extremozymes: expanding the limits of biocatalysis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Center for Metalloenzyme Studies, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA.


The study of enzymes isolated from organisms inhabiting unconventional ecosystems has led to the realization that biocatalysis need not be constrained to mild conditions and can be considered at pH's, temperatures, pressures, ionic and solvent environments long thought to be destructive to biomolecules. Parallel to this, it has been demonstrated that even conventional enzymes will catalyze reactions in solvents other than water. However, the intrinsic basis for biological function under extreme conditions is only starting to be addressed, as are associated applications. This was the focus of a recent NSF/NIST-sponsored workshop on extremozymes. Given the information acquired from the study of extremozymes, modification of enzymes to improve their ranges of stability and activity remains a possibility. Ultimately, by expanding the range of conditions suitable for enzyme function, new opportunities to use biocatalysis will be created.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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