Article

Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 371-376

First online:

Effect of hydration on thermostability

  • N. A. TurnerAffiliated withBBSRC Institute of Food Research, Reading Laboratory
  • , D. B. DuchateauAffiliated withBBSRC Institute of Food Research, Reading Laboratory
  • , E. N. VulfsonAffiliated withBBSRC Institute of Food Research, Reading Laboratory

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Summary

The thermostability of several serine esterases has been studied using differential scanning calorimetry. The denaturation temperature (Tm) was found to be 30–50°C higher in anhydrous environments than in aqueous solution. An almost linear decrease in Tm as a function of water activity (Aw) was observed. It is concluded that the highest productivity of an enzyme in a bioreactor would be obtained at a hydration level below optimal for catalytic activty. The data also indicates that a significant destabilisation of the protein's unfolded state occurs at low values of Aw.