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Extremophiles. 1998 Aug;2(3):185-90.

Alkaline detergent enzymes from alkaliphiles: enzymatic properties, genetics, and structures.

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Biological Science Laboratory of Kao Corporation, Tochigi, Japan.


The cleaning power of detergents seems to have peaked; all detergents contain similar ingredients and are based on similar detergency mechanisms. To improve detergency, modern types of heavy-duty powder detergents and automatic dishwasher detergents usually contain one or more enzymes, such as protease, amylase, cellulase, and lipase. Alkaliphilic Bacillus strains are often good sources of alkaline extracellular enzymes, the properties of which fulfil the essential requirements for enzymes to be used in detergents. We have isolated numbers of alkaliphilic Bacillus that produce such alkaline detergent enzymes, including cellulase (CMCase), protease, alpha-amylase, and debranching enzymes, and have succeeded in large-scale industrial production of some of these enzymes. Here, we describe the enzymatic properties, genetics, and structures of the detergent enzymes that we have developed.

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