Developments in industrially important thermostable enzymes: a review

Bioresour Technol. 2003 Aug;89(1):17-34. doi: 10.1016/s0960-8524(03)00033-6.


Cellular components of thermophilic organisms (enzymes, proteins and nucleic acids) are also thermostable. Apart from high temperature they are also known to withstand denaturants of extremely acidic and alkaline conditions. Thermostable enzymes are highly specific and thus have considerable potential for many industrial applications. The use of such enzymes in maximising reactions accomplished in the food and paper industry, detergents, drugs, toxic wastes removal and drilling for oil is being studied extensively. The enzymes can be produced from the thermophiles through either optimised fermentation of the microorganisms or cloning of fast-growing mesophiles by recombinant DNA technology. In this review, the source microorganisms and properties of thermostable starch hydrolysing amylases, xylanases, cellulases, chitinases, proteases, lipases and DNA polymerases are discussed. The industrial needs for such specific thermostable enzyme and improvements required to maximize their application in the future are also suggested.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Enzyme Stability*
  • Enzymes / genetics
  • Enzymes / isolation & purification
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Industry*


  • Enzymes