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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 35–43 | Cite as

Hydrolysis of organophosphorus compounds by microbial enzymes

  • Casey M. Theriot
  • Amy M. GrundenEmail author
Mini-Review

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.

Keywords

Organophosphorus compound OP nerve agent Pesticide OPAA OPH Phosphotriesterase Prolidase 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Dr. Sherry Tove for her helpful comments on the manuscript. We also thank Dr. Joseph DeFrank and Saumil Shah from the US Army, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, for helpful discussion on the use of OP compound-degrading enzymes for CWA decontamination. Support for some of the studies described in this review was provided by the Army Research Office (contract number 44258LSSR).

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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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