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Some Enzymes in Marine Environment: Prospective Applications Found in Patent Literature

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Marine enzymes are characterized by well-known habitat-related features such as salt tolerance, hyperthermostability, barophilicity and cold adaptivity although the related environmental conditions are present also in many non-marine environments. Novel chemical and stereochemical characteristics usually possessed by these biocatalysts, increase their interest from scientific and applicative points of view both in academia and in research industry. Chemical and pharmaceutical fields, embracing almost the whole body of applications based on marine catalysts, strictly rely upon their (stereo) chemical features. This review article is organized in two distinct parts. In the first, examples of different types of enzymes identified in marine environment are tabulated showing the importance of marine bioprospecting: in fact, the marine habitat is one of the most important natural locations for enzyme bioprospecting activity. In the second part technological processes based on marine enzymes are described: remarkable or unusual bioprocesses are performed by marine biocatalysts taking advantages by the habitat-related characteristics above mentioned which are desirable features recognized from a general biotechnological perspective. With this aim in mind this review did not search just for novelty in most recent patents but for important aspects within each report, enabling the reader to appreciate the importance of marine environment as source of very useful biocatalyst.
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Keywords: Archaea; asymmetry; biocatalysis; biocatalysts; bioprocesses; bioprospecting; cosmetics; enzyme; extremophiles; food; marine enzymes; marine habitat; metagenomic; organic synthesis; stereochemistry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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