Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius thermophilic esterase EST2's activity in milk and cheese models

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 May;72(5):3191-7. doi: 10.1128/AEM.72.5.3191-3197.2006.


The aim of this work was to investigate the behavior of thermophilic esterase EST2 from Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius in milk and cheese models. The pure enzyme was used to compare the EST2 hydrolytic activity to the activity of endogenous esterase EstA from Lactococcus lactis. The results indicate that EST2 exhibits 30-fold-higher esterase activity than EstA. As EstA has thioesterase activity, EST2 was assayed for this activity under the optimal conditions determined for EstA (namely, 30 degrees C and pH 7.5). Although it is a thermophilic enzyme, EST2 exhibited eightfold-higher thioesterase activity than EstA with S-methyl thiobutanoate. The abilities of EST2 and EstA to synthesize short-chain fatty acid esters were compared. Two methods were developed to do this. In the first method a spectrophotometric assay was used to monitor the synthesis of esters by the pure enzymes using p-nitrophenol as the alcohol substrate. The synthetic activities were also evaluated under conditions that mimicked those present in milk and/or cheese. The second method involved evaluation of the synthetic abilities of the enzymes when they were directly added to a model cheese matrix. Substantial ester synthesis by EST2 was observed under both conditions. Finally, esterase and thioesterase activities were evaluated in milk using the purified EST2 enzyme and in the model cheese matrix using a strain of L. lactis NZ9000 harboring the EST2 gene and thus overproducing EST2. Both the esterase and thioesterase activities measured in milk and in the cheese matrix were much greater than the activities of the controls.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Biotechnology / methods
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Cheese / microbiology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Enzyme Stability
  • Esterases / genetics*
  • Esterases / metabolism*
  • Gram-Positive Endospore-Forming Rods / enzymology*
  • Gram-Positive Endospore-Forming Rods / genetics
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Lactococcus lactis / enzymology*
  • Lactococcus lactis / genetics
  • Lactococcus lactis / growth & development
  • Milk / microbiology*
  • Thiolester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Thiolester Hydrolases / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Esterases
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • EstA protein, bacteria
  • Thiolester Hydrolases