Enzymatic catalysis in organic media at 100 degrees C

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Science  15 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4654, pp. 1249-1251
DOI: 10.1126/science.6729453


Porcine pancreatic lipase catalyzes the transesterification reaction between tributyrin and various primary and secondary alcohols in a 99 percent organic medium. Upon further dehydration, the enzyme becomes extremely thermostable. Not only can the dry lipase withstand heating at 100 degrees C for many hours, but it exhibits a high catalytic activity at that temperature. Reduction in water content also alters the substrate specificity of the lipase: in contrast to its wet counterpart, the dry enzyme does not react with bulky tertiary alcohols.