, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 35-43
Date: 02 Oct 2010

Hydrolysis of organophosphorus compounds by microbial enzymes

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Abstract

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.