Learn How Enzyme Engineering Can Advance Biotechnology Applications
SummaryEnzyme engineering is a technology in which enzymes or microbial cells, animal and plant cells, organelles, etc. are placed in a certain biological reaction device, and the corresponding raw materials are converted into useful substances by using the biocatalytic function of enzymes and engineering methods.
- Author Name: Iva Colter
Enzyme engineering is a technology in which enzymes or microbial cells, animal and plant cells, organelles, etc. are placed in a certain biological reaction device, and the corresponding raw materials are converted into useful substances by using the biocatalytic function of enzymes and engineering methods. It includes the preparation of enzyme preparations, the immobilization of enzymes, the modification and transformation of enzymes, and the content of enzyme reactors. The application of enzyme engineering is mainly concentrated in the food industry, light industry and pharmaceutical industry.
In fact, humans have been using enzymes consciously for many years and have gone through several stages of development. At the beginning, people directly extracted enzymes from animals, plants or microorganisms to make enzyme preparations for production, and this method is still used until now. For example, most of the detergents we use now are enzyme-added, and their detergency is greatly enhanced. In addition, in the manufacture of cheese and hydrolyzed starch, brewing beer and inkstone baking, the enzyme preparation can be directly applied.
Since the extraction of enzymes from animals and plants is troublesome and the number is limited, people are more optimistic about the method of large-scale culturing of microorganisms and then extracting enzymes from them to obtain a large amount of enzyme preparations. At present, many commercial enzymes, such as amylase, saccharification enzyme, protease, etc., are mainly derived from microorganisms. Therefore, enzyme engineering is inseparable from microbial fermentation engineering, which can also be said to be the product of fermentation engineering.
After the 1970s, with the emergence of the second generation of enzymes, immobilized enzymes and related technologies, enzyme engineering has truly entered the stage of history. Immobilized enzymes are increasingly becoming the main force of industrial production, playing a huge role in chemical medicine, light industry food, environmental protection and other fields. Since then, more powerful third-generation enzymes, immobilized multi-enzyme systems including cofactor regeneration systems, are emerging as protagonists for enzyme engineering applications.
The content of enzymes in organisms is limited, and no matter what kind of enzymes it is, the concentration in cells will not be very high, which is also due to the need for the balance adjustment of biological activities. This limits the possibility of using natural enzymes directly to solve many chemical reactions more efficiently, and genetic engineering approaches can address this challenge. As long as a useful enzyme is found in the organism, even if the content is low, as long as the gene recombination technology is applied, through gene amplification and enhanced expression, it is possible to establish genetically engineered bacteria or genetically engineered cells that highly express specific enzyme preparations. By immobilizing genetically engineered bacteria or genetically engineered cells, a new generation of biocatalysts can be constructed—immobilized engineered bacteria or immobilized engineered cells. This new type of biocatalyst is also called genetically engineered enzyme preparation.
The development of a new generation of genetically engineered enzyme preparations will undoubtedly make enzyme engineering even more powerful. The technology of immobilized genetically engineered bacteria and genetically engineered cells will make the power of enzymes better. Scientists predict that if related technologies are combined with continuous bioreactors, it will lead to fundamental changes in the entire fermentation industry and chemical synthesis industry.