, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 1066-1088
Date: 28 Sep 2010

Native and Biotechnologically Engineered Plant Proteases with Industrial Applications

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Proteases occupy the most relevant position among industrial enzymes. Plant proteases have been used in medicine, detergent manufacturing, and food science for many years, but their production is diminishing in favor of those of microbial origin because lower production costs. Papain, bromelain, and ficin are the most frequently employed plant proteases, although new proteases with new and more appealing physicochemical properties for industry are still emerging. DNA technology and genetic engineering shall play, without a doubt, an important role for the production of these proteases at the industrial level. The present review focuses on the applications of traditional plant proteases as well as new proteases discovered during the last 20 years, some of which have already been genetically engineered either to increase production or to strengthen some of their physicochemical properties. The review also refers to the protease classification, action pattern, and main characteristics.