Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.68, No.6, 665-671, 2000
Investigating the effects of polymer chemistry on activity of biocatalytic plastic materials
The affects of polymer chemistry on the organic solvent activity of alpha-chymotrypsin-containing biocatalytic plastic materials are investigated in this study. To incorporate alpha-chymotrypsin into the polymer, the enzyme is first acryloylated, then solubilized into organic solvents via hydrophobic ion paring with surfactant molecules. Once in the organic solvent, a vinyl monomer and crosslinker are added and copolymerized with the enzyme. Due to the intimate contact between the enzyme and the resulting polymer network, the polymer chemistry plays an important role in the activity of these bio catalytic materials. The chemical composition of the monomer/polymer has the greatest effect on catalytic activity. The activity spans a range of 100-fold and appears to correlate with the hydrophilicity of the monomer, with the lowest activity exhibited for poly(methyl methacrylate) and the highest for poly(a-hydroxyethyl methacrylate). The effect of the chemical structure of the monomer/polymer appears to be an intrinsic kinetic effect, whereas other polymer chemistry conditions investigated, including crosslinker concentration and length and ratio of solvent:monomer during synthesis, appear to effect the rate of substrate diffusion, thereby affecting observed enzyme activity. Changes in the conditions of polymer synthesis can cause as much as a 20-fold change in activity for a given polymeric material. This is most likely due to an increase in the porosity of the materials, and thus a relaxation of diffusional limitations. (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Keywords:ORGANIC-SOLVENTS;WATER ACTIVITY;ENZYMATIC CATALYSIS;ALPHA-CHYMOTRYPSIN;PEPTIDE-SYNTHESIS;SUPPORT MATERIAL;ENZYMES;MEDIA;ACTIVATION;SUBTILISIN