Man's use of enzymes dates back to the earliest times of
civilization. Important human activities such as the production of
certain types of foods and beverages, and the tanning of hides and
skins to produce leather for garments, serendipitously took
advantage of enzyme activities. Important advances in our
understanding of the nature of enzymes and their action were made
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, seeding the explosive
expansion from the 1950s and 60s onward to the present billion
dollar enzyme industry. Recent developments in the fields of
genetic engineering and protein chemistry are bringing ever more
powerful means of analysis to bear on the study of enzyme structure
and function that will undoubtedly lead to the rational
modification of enzymes to match specific requirements as well as
the design of new enzymes with novel properties.
This volume reviews the most important types of industrial
enzymes, covering in a balanced manner three interrelated aspects
of paramount importance for enzyme performance: three-dimensional
protein structure, physicochemical and catalytic properties, and
the range of both classical and novel applications.
The material covered will be of interest to undergraduate and
graduate students in biochemistry, biotechnology and applied
microbiology in addition to researchers and industrialists.
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