About this Research Topic
Enzymes are instrumental and play a role of paramount importance in the heart of Industrial Biotechnology, in particular “white biotechnology”, where enzymes and microorganisms are used for bioremediation. The commercial value of these bio-catalysts has increased in the past decades mainly in traditional fields such as food and detergent industries. This market is still growing particularly in environment bioremediation (decontamination and detoxification) and for medical, pulp & paper, textile, energy and biosensor applications. Enzyme technologies have the potential to provide economically viable alternatives which are also environmentally friendly.
The number of commercial enzymes is set to increase through the exploitation of the extraordinary diversity of the microbial world to obtain new enzymes that will expand the depth and breadth of their application. The vast majority of extremophilic enzymes come from microbes. Extremophilic enzymes stay active and stable in extreme environments, such as high and low temperatures and pHs, high salts and protein denaturants concentrations, and high hydrostatic pressure. These exceptional properties enable extremophilic enzymes to meet the requirements of many harsh biotechnological and industrial processes.
The demand for enzymes which possess high catalytic activity and adaptation to as many extreme conditions as possible from a commercial and biotechnological perspective is growing., This is due to the fact that current biotechnological applications of many enzymes are still constrained by their low activity, low stability or high cost. To solve that problem, one way is to mine new enzymes from natural sources with high activity, high stability and/or unusual specificity, as well as multiple extremophilic properties, such as thermophilic, psychrophilic, acidophilic, basophilic, and halophilic properties.
It is noteworthy that not all of extremophilic enzymes are isolated from extreme environments. Protein engineering is another method that is expected to improve the enzymatic properties for their biotechnological application. Adaptation mechanisms for various extreme conditions of enzymes should be revealed before guiding protein engineering.
The goal of this Research Topic is to explore the breadth and depth of this growing research and development area, and to reach a deeper understanding of the field on the basis of:
(1) showing enzymes which possess high activity and stability to extreme conditions, especially multiple extreme conditions;
(2) elucidating adaptation mechanisms of enzymes for not only one extreme condition but also multiple extreme conditions;
(3) presenting successful mining and designing of extremophilic enzymes on the basis of bioinformatics.
This Research Topic will focus especially, but not only, on the following sub-topics:
- screening novel extremophilic enzymes from various environments.
- screening novel extremophilic enzymes on the basis of directed evolution.
- elucidating molecular mechanisms for adaptations to extremophilic conditions.
- mining novel extremophilic enzymes from GenBank and other databases on the basis of bioinformatic analysis.
- designing novel extremophilic enzymes for industrial applications.
- production of novel extremophilic enzymes for industrial applications.
- purification and characterization of novel extremophilic enzymes
Articles focusing merely on screening or mining without further enzyme characterisation will be considered out of scope.
Quality manuscripts exploring all aspects of “Mining, Designing, Mechanisms and Applications of Extremophilic Enzymes” will be considered such as Original Research, Reviews and Mini Reviews.
Keywords: Enzyme, Protein, Extremophilic, Application, mechanism
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.