Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 8, pp 3551–3559 | Cite as

Surface engineering of polyester-degrading enzymes to improve efficiency and tune specificity

  • Antonino Biundo
  • Doris Ribitsch
  • Georg M. Guebitz


Certain members of the carboxylesterase superfamily can act at the interface between water and water-insoluble substrates. However, nonnatural bulky polyesters usually are not efficiently hydrolyzed. In the recent years, the potential of enzyme engineering to improve hydrolysis of synthetic polyesters has been demonstrated. Regions on the enzyme surface have been modified by using site-directed mutagenesis in order to tune sorption processes through increased hydrophobicity of the enzyme surface. Such modifications can involve specific amino acid substitutions, addition of binding modules, or truncation of entire domains improving sorption properties and/or dynamics of the enzyme. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview on different strategies developed in the recent years for enzyme surface engineering to improve the activity of polyester-hydrolyzing enzymes.


Carboxylesterases Polyesters Enzyme engineering Hydrolysis PET Polyesterases 



This review was supported by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW), the Federal Ministry of Traffic, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG), the Standortagentur Tirol, the Government of Lower Austria, and ZIT - Technology Agency of the City of Vienna through the COMET-Funding Program managed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonino Biundo
    • 1
  • Doris Ribitsch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Georg M. Guebitz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB)Tulln an der DonauAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental BiotechnologyUniversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)Tulln an der DonauAustria

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