Halophilic hydrolases as a new tool for the biotechnological industries

Authors

  • Mariana Delgado-García,

    1. Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Blvd Venustiano Carranza, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
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  • Blanca Valdivia-Urdiales,

    1. Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Blvd Venustiano Carranza, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
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  • Cristóbal Noe Aguilar-González,

    1. Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Blvd Venustiano Carranza, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
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  • Juan Carlos Contreras-Esquivel,

    1. Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Blvd Venustiano Carranza, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
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  • Raúl Rodríguez-Herrera

    Corresponding author
    1. Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Blvd Venustiano Carranza, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
    • Food Research Department, School of Chemistry, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Blvd Venustiano Carranza, 25280 Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.
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Abstract

Halophilic micro-organisms are able to survive in high salt concentrations because they have developed diverse biochemical, structural and physiological modifications, allowing the catalytic synthesis of proteins with interesting physicochemical and structural properties. The main characteristic of halophilic enzymes that allows them to be considered as a novel alternative for use in the biotechnological industries is their polyextremophilicity, i.e. they have the capacity to be thermostable, tolerate a wide range of pH, withstand denaturation and tolerate high salt concentrations. However, there have been relatively few studies on halophilic enzymes, with some being based on their isolation and others on their characterisation. These enzymes are scarcely researched because attention has been focused on other extremophile micro-organisms. Only a few industrial applications of halophilic enzymes, principally in the fermented food, textile, pharmaceutical and leather industries, have been reported. However, it is important to investigate applications of these enzymes in more biotechnological processes at both the chemical and the molecular level. This review discusses the modifications of these enzymes, their industrial applications and research perspectives in different biotechnological areas. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry

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