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Genetically Engineered Proteins to Improve Biomass Conversion: New Advances and Challenges for Tailoring Biocatalysts

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Department of Biology, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto 14040-901, Brazil
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Department of Microbial Biochemistry and Genomics, Biological Research Institute Clemente Estable, Montevideo, PC 11600, Uruguay
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Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto 14049-900, Brazil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2879; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162879
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 8 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Engineering: Different Biotechnology Applications)
Protein engineering emerged as a powerful approach to generate more robust and efficient biocatalysts for bio-based economy applications, an alternative to ecologically toxic chemistries that rely on petroleum. On the quest for environmentally friendly technologies, sustainable and low-cost resources such as lignocellulosic plant-derived biomass are being used for the production of biofuels and fine chemicals. Since most of the enzymes used in the biorefinery industry act in suboptimal conditions, modification of their catalytic properties through protein rational design and in vitro evolution techniques allows the improvement of enzymatic parameters such as specificity, activity, efficiency, secretability, and stability, leading to better yields in the production lines. This review focuses on the current application of protein engineering techniques for improving the catalytic performance of enzymes used to break down lignocellulosic polymers. We discuss the use of both classical and modern methods reported in the literature in the last five years that allowed the boosting of biocatalysts for biomass degradation. View Full-Text
Keywords: mutagenesis; recombination; directed evolution; semi-rational design; screening or selection; computational design mutagenesis; recombination; directed evolution; semi-rational design; screening or selection; computational design
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Ribeiro, L.F.; Amarelle, V.; Alves, L.F.; Viana de Siqueira, G.M.; Lovate, G.L.; Borelli, T.C.; Guazzaroni, M.-E. Genetically Engineered Proteins to Improve Biomass Conversion: New Advances and Challenges for Tailoring Biocatalysts. Molecules 2019, 24, 2879.

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