Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 35–43

Hydrolysis of organophosphorus compounds by microbial enzymes


DOI: 10.1007/s00253-010-2807-9

Cite this article as:
Theriot, C.M. & Grunden, A.M. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2011) 89: 35. doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2807-9


There are classes of microbial enzymes that have the ability to degrade harmful organophosphorus (OP) compounds that are present in some pesticides and nerve agents. To date, the most studied and potentially important OP-degrading enzymes are organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) and organophosphorus acid anhydrolase (OPAA), which have both been characterized from a number of organisms. Here we provide an update of what is experimentally known about OPH and OPAA to include their structures, substrate specificity, and catalytic properties. Current and future potential applications of these enzymes in the hydrolysis of OP compounds are also addressed.


Organophosphorus compound OP nerve agent Pesticide OPAA OPH Phosphotriesterase Prolidase 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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