Antarctic environments as a source of bacterial and fungal therapeutic enzymes
MetadataShow full item record
Microbial therapeutic enzymes are the protagonists in the pharmacological treatment of different human diseases. The intrinsic enzymatic characteristics, such as high affinity and specificity to the corresponding substrate, enable effective therapies, with minimal adverse effects and complete remission. However, immunogenicity, short half-life, low enzymatic yield, and low selectivity regarding available enzyme drugs are currently the main obstacles to their development and the broad adherence to therapeutic protocols. By harboring adapted and still unexplored microbial life, environments of extreme conditions, such as Antarctica, become especially important in the prospecting and development of new enzymatic compounds that present higher yields and the possibility of genetic improvement. Antarctic microorganisms have adaptation mechanisms, such as more fluid cell membranes, production of antifreeze proteins and enzymes with more malleable structures, more robust, stable, selective catalytic sites for their respective substrates, and high antioxidant capacity. In this context, this review aims to explore enzymes synthesized by bacteria and fungi from Antarctica as potential drug producers, capable of providing therapeutic efficacy, less adverse effects, and lower production costs with highlight to L-Asparaginase, collagenase, superoxide dismutase and ribonucleases. In addition, this review highlights the unique biotechnological profile of these Antarctic extremophile microorganisms.