Cold-Active Enzymes and Their Potential Industrial Applications-A Review

Molecules. 2022 Sep 10;27(18):5885. doi: 10.3390/molecules27185885.


More than 70% of our planet is covered by extremely cold environments, nourishing a broad diversity of microbial life. Temperature is the most significant parameter that plays a key role in the distribution of microorganisms on our planet. Psychrophilic microorganisms are the most prominent inhabitants of the cold ecosystems, and they possess potential cold-active enzymes with diverse uses in the research and commercial sectors. Psychrophiles are modified to nurture, replicate, and retain their active metabolic activities in low temperatures. Their enzymes possess characteristics of maximal activity at low to adequate temperatures; this feature makes them more appealing and attractive in biotechnology. The high enzymatic activity of psychrozymes at low temperatures implies an important feature for energy saving. These enzymes have proven more advantageous than their mesophilic and thermophilic counterparts. Therefore, it is very important to explore the efficiency and utility of different psychrozymes in food processing, pharmaceuticals, brewing, bioremediation, and molecular biology. In this review, we focused on the properties of cold-active enzymes and their diverse uses in different industries and research areas. This review will provide insight into the areas and characteristics to be improved in cold-active enzymes so that potential and desired enzymes can be made available for commercial purposes.

Keywords: biotechnological potential; cold-active enzymes; extremophiles; industrial applications; psychrophiles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Enzymes / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations


  • Enzymes
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations