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Nε-Acetyl L-α Lysine Improves Activity and Stability of α-Amylase at Acidic Conditions: A Comparative Study with other Osmolytes


Nidhya Nadarajan Joghee, Gurunathan Jayaraman* and Masilamani Selladurai   Pages 1 - 6 ( 6 )


Background: Nε-acetyl L-α lysine is an unusual acetylated di-amino acid synthesized and accumulated by certain halophiles under osmotic stress. Osmolytes are generally known to protect proteins and other cellular components under various stress conditions.

Objective: The structural and functional stability imparted by Nε-acetyl L-lysine on proteins were unknown and hence was studied and compared to other commonly known bacterial osmolytes - ectoine, proline, glycine betaine, trehalose and sucrose.

Methods: Effects of osmolytes on the temperature and pH profiles, pH stability and thermodynamic stability of the model enzyme, α-amylase were analyzed.

Results: At physiological pH, all the osmolytes under study increased the optimal temperature for enzyme activity and improved the thermodynamic stability of the enzyme. At acidic conditions (pH 3.0), Nε-acetyl L-α lysine and ectoine improved both the catalytic and thermodynamic stability of the enzyme; it was reflected in the increase in residual enzyme activity after incubation of the enzyme at pH 3.0 for 15 min by 60% and 63.5% and the midpoint temperature of unfolding transition by 11°C and 10°C respectively.

Conclusion: Such significant protective effects on both activity and stability of α-amylase imparted by addition of Nε-acetyl L-α lysine and ectoine at acidic conditions make these osmolytes interesting candidates for biotechnological applications.


Osmolytes, alpha-amylase, enzyme activity, thermodynamic stability, Nε-acetyl-L-lysine


School of Bio Sciences and Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, School of Bio Sciences and Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, Pall India Private Limited, Bangalore

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