Special Issue "Enzyme Engineering: From Chemically Induced Modifications to Genetic Code Expansion"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Biocatalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jean Bertoldo
Guest Editor
University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany
Interests: protein engineering, chemical biology, proteomics and drug discovery
Prof. Dr. Hernán Terenzi
Guest Editor
Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Interests: protein chemistry, protein engineering and drug discovery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Enzyme engineering has become extremely important for biocatalytic processes, which is observed by the amount of research that has been dedicated to this field in the past decade. This interest is due to the intrinsic features of enzymes and their advantages over chemical catalysts such as high productivity, specificity, and catalytic efficiency, but it is also faced with high cost and low stability issues. These drawbacks have propelled the development of several methods to tackle these problems while also avoiding the cost and waste associated with single-use and throwaway practices. Traditional methods of enzyme engineering have enabled the production of stable and highly efficient enzymes as well as entirely new functionalities, but they have also started to concede space to more advanced approaches. Recent efforts have focused on induced chemical modifications and genetic code expansion to install new catalytic modalities, expand acceptable substrates, and increase thermostability amongst other features. This Special Issue aims to cover the progress and trends in traditional enzyme engineering, new chemical methods to modify and modulate enzyme activity and structure, genetic code expansion by insertion of noncannocial amino acids (ncAA), and other strategies to develop innovative biocatalysts.

Dr. Jean Bertoldo
Prof. Dr. Hernán Terenzi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs)
  • Genetic code expansion
  • Directed evolution
  • Site-directed mutagenesis
  • Posttranslational chemical mutagenesis
  • New enzyme modalities
  • Site-specific protein modification
  • Unnatural amino acids (UAAs)
  • Protein functionalization
  • Reusable biocatalysts

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Molecular Engineering to Increase the Thermostability of Enzyme Breakers in Oil Industry
Authors: Muhammad Naeem; Amjad Bajis Khalil
Affiliation: Department of Life Sciences, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia1
Abstract: In hydraulic fracturing, the fracturing fluid is used to transport the proppant into the fracturing operation reservoir. The higher hydraulic fluid's viscosity is vital in fracturing the reservoir and suspension of sand and proppants. The thickness of hydraulic fracturing fluid increased through the addition of guar polymers. After the fracturing, the fluid viscosity should be quickly dropped for enhancement of oil and gas recovery. The enzyme breakers are used to break the fracturing fluid completely by degrading the guar polymer. Different types of the enzyme have been isolated and employed to reduce the hydraulic fluid's viscosity in the oil and gas industry at high temperatures. Thermostability remains the major obstacle for the use of enzyme breakers in oil application. The enzyme engineering approaches such as direct evolution, rational design, and the latest machine learning have a great potential to increase enzyme breakers' thermostability against high temperatures. This prospect article will describe a brief overview of recent advanced enzyme molecular engineering technologies and how these technologies could be used to enhance the thermostability of enzyme breakers in oil applications.

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