Enormous interest in biocatalysis in non-aqueous phase has recently been triggered due to the merits of good enantioselectivity, reverse thermodynamic equilibrium, and no water-dependent side reactions. It has been demonstrated that enzyme has high activity and stability in non-aqueous media, and the variation of enzyme activity is attributed to its conformational modifications. This review comprehensively addresses the stability and activity of the intact enzymes in various non-aqueous systems, such as organic solvents, ionic liquids, sub-/super-critical fluids and their combined mixtures. It has been revealed that critical factors such as Log P
, functional groups and the molecular structures of the solvents define the microenvironment surrounding the enzyme molecule and affect enzyme tertiary and secondary structure, influencing enzyme catalytic properties. Therefore, it is of high importance for biocatalysis in non-aqueous media to elucidate the links between the microenvironment surrounding enzyme surface and its stability and activity. In fact, a better understanding of the correlation between different non-aqueous environments and enzyme structure, stability and activity can contribute to identifying the most suitable reaction medium for a given biotransformation.
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