This work discusses the application of an aqueous two-phase system for the purification of lipases produced by Bacillus sp. ITP-001 using polyethylene glycol (PEG) and potassium phosphate. In the first step, the protein content was precipitated with ammonium sulphate (80% saturation). The enzyme remained in the aqueous solution and was dialyzed against ultra-pure water for 18 h and used to prepare an aqueous two-phase system (PEG/potassium phosphate). The use of different molecular weights of PEG to purify the lipase was investigated; the best purification factor (PF) was obtained using PEG 20,000g/mol, however PEG 8000 was used in the next tests due to lower viscosity. The influence of PEG and potassium phosphate concentrations on the enzyme purification was then studied: the highest FP was obtained with 20% of PEG and 18% of potassium phosphate. NaCl was added to increase the hydrophobicity between the phases, and also increased the purification factor. The pH value and temperature affected the enzyme partitioning, with the best purifying conditions achieved at pH 6.0 and 4°C. The molecular mass of the purified enzyme was determined to be approximately 54 kDa by SDS-PAGE. According to the results the best combination for purifying the enzyme is PEG 8000g/mol and potassium phosphate (20/18%) with 6% of NaCl at pH 6.0 and 4°C (201.53 fold). The partitioning process of lipase is governed by the entropy contribution.
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