Glucoamylases: structural and biotechnological aspects
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- Marín-Navarro, J. & Polaina, J. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2011) 89: 1267. doi:10.1007/s00253-010-3034-0
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Glucoamylases, one of the main types of enzymes involved in starch hydrolysis, are exo-acting enzymes that release consecutive glucose units from the non-reducing ends of starch molecules. Glucoamylases are microbial enzymes, present in bacteria, archaea, and fungi but not in plants and animals. Structurally, they are classified in family 15 of glycoside hydrolases and characterised by the invariable presence of a catalytic domain with (α/α)6-fold, often bound to a non-catalytic domain of diverse origin and function. Fungal glucoamylases are biotechnologically very important as they are used industrially in large amounts and have been extensively studied during the past 30 years. Prokaryotic glucoamylases are of biotechnological relevance for being generally thermophilic enzymes, active at elevated temperatures.