Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Microbial Cell Factories and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Nitrilases in nitrile biocatalysis: recent progress and forthcoming research

Jin-Song Gong1, Zhen-Ming Lu2, Heng Li3, Jin-Song Shi3, Zhe-Min Zhou1 and Zheng-Hong Xu12*

Author Affiliations

1 The Key Laboratory of Industrial Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, People’s Republic of China

2 Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Engineering, School of Medicine and Pharmaceutics, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, 214122, People’s Republic of China

3 Laboratory of Bioactive Products Processing Engineering, School of Medicine and Pharmaceutics, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, 214122, People’s Republic of China

For all author emails, please log on.

Microbial Cell Factories 2012, 11:142  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-11-142

Published: 30 October 2012

Abstract

Over the past decades, nitrilases have drawn considerable attention because of their application in nitrile degradation as prominent biocatalysts. Nitrilases are derived from bacteria, filamentous fungi, yeasts, and plants. In-depth investigations on their natural sources function mechanisms, enzyme structure, screening pathways, and biocatalytic properties have been conducted. Moreover, the immobilization, purification, gene cloning and modifications of nitrilase have been dwelt upon. Some nitrilases are used commercially as biofactories for carboxylic acids production, waste treatment, and surface modification. This critical review summarizes the current status of nitrilase research, and discusses a number of challenges and significant attempts in its further development. Nitrilase is a significant and promising biocatalyst for catalytic applications.

Keywords:
Biocatalysis; Bioremediation; Carboxylic acid; Gene expression; Immobilization; Nitrilase; Nitrile; Purification; Strain screening; Surface modification