Cold-adapted enzymes

Trends Biotechnol. 1997 Sep;15(9):359-64. doi: 10.1016/S0167-7799(97)01086-X.


It is an article of faith among biochemists and molecular biologists that precious enzymes must be stored on ice. The usual reason given is that, at temperatures around freezing, enzyme activity is minimized and protein stability maximized. There is considerable evidence supporting this, but is it true for all enzymes? What about enzymes from organisms that spend part or all of their lives at temperatures around freezing? How do they manage to maintain normal enzymatic function at low temperatures? Can we learn something from cold-adapted proteins that would allow us better to understand how proteins function?

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization
  • Animals
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Biotechnology / trends
  • Cold Climate
  • Cold Temperature
  • Enzyme Stability
  • Enzymes / chemistry
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Fishes / metabolism
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Denaturation


  • Enzymes