The production, properties, and applications of thermostable steryl glucosidases
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Extremophilic microorganisms are a rich source of enzymes, the enzymes which can serve as industrial catalysts that can withstand harsh processing conditions. An example is thermostable β-glucosidases that are addressing a challenging problem in the biodiesel industry: removing steryl glucosides (SGs) from biodiesel. Steryl glucosidases (SGases) must be tolerant to heat and solvents in order to function efficiently in biodiesel. The amphipathic nature of SGs also requires enzymes with an affinity for water/solvent interfaces in order to achieve efficient hydrolysis. Additionally, the development of an enzymatic process involving a commodity such as soybean biodiesel must be cost-effective, necessitating an efficient manufacturing process for SGases. This review summarizes the identification of microbial SGases and their applications, discusses biodiesel refining processes and the development of analytical methods for identifying and quantifying SGs in foods and biodiesel, and considers technologies for strain engineering and process optimization for the heterologous production of a SGase from Thermococcus litoralis. All of these technologies might be used for the production of other thermostable enzymes. Structural features of SGases and the feasibility of protein engineering for novel applications are explored.
KeywordsExtremozymes Biofuels Steryl glucosidases
The funding was provided by ANCYT PICT (Grant Nos. 2010-1157, 2013-2134, 2013-2726).
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