About this Research Topic
Most of the chemical reactions needed to sustain life are carried out by enzymes, nature’s biocatalysts that catalyse interconversion of a diverse array of molecules with high specificity.
A particular set of enzymes, extremozymes, perform the same catalytic functions as their non-extreme counterparts but are adapted to function under harsh conditions with great robustness, versatility, and stereoselectivity. Extremozymes are very attractive for chemical and biotechnological industries interested in replacing traditional biological or non-biological catalysts with enzymes. Extremozymes are found in extremophiles, organisms naturally adapted to thrive under extreme chemical and/or physical conditions. Extremophiles exist in the harshest environments on Earth, such as dry deserts, hypersaline, alkaline soda lakes, deep-sea brines, hydrothermal vents, volcanic areas, and cold oceans. Extremophiles and extremozymes provide an excellent platform for bioprospecting and targeted protein-engineering approaches, with the aim of producing biocatalysts with superior properties.
Numerous enzymes have been evaluated for large-scale applications. However, the current enzyme market is inadequate in meeting industrial demands, mainly because the enzymes currently available are unable to tolerate harsh conditions, and do not possess sufficient stability and/or selectivity. There is an ever-growing demand for extremozymes. Thus, the discovery and development of enzymes with improved stability and novel activities are a priority in enzyme research. Breakthroughs in extreme environment sampling techniques, combined with the development of new molecular genomic and proteomic technologies, protein-engineering, synthetic biology, and gene-directed evolution have paved the way for the production of enzymes with optimized, extreme features.
This Research Topic aims to build on the research collected in the previously published Topic, Enzymes from Extreme Environments.
Providing a platform for presenting the latest developments on technologies for discovery, production, and development of enzymes with extreme or enhanced features.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Articles, Reviews, and Mini-reviews on the following areas:
- Innovative technologies for bioprospecting and isolation of enzymes from extremophiles or directly from natural, extreme environments
- Discovery and production of extremozymes using gene-based or function-based metagenomic techniques
- Engineering proteins to develop more robust extremozymes with enhanced activities and stabilities
- Large-scale production and immobilization of extremozymes
Keywords: Extremozyme, Extremophile, Metagenomics, Bioprospecting, Functional Genomics, Fermentation
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