Expression and characterization of a cutinase (AnCUT2) from Aspergillus niger

  • Khadijah Ahmed Al-Tammar, Othman Omar, Abdul Munir Abdul Murad, Farah Diba Abu Bakar
  • Open Life Sciences, January 2016, De Gruyter
  • DOI: 10.1515/biol-2016-0004

Isolation and Characteristics of a Fungal Enzyme Called Cutinase

What is it about?

An enzyme, cutinase was isolated from the fungus Aspergillus niger through obtaining the gene encoding it. A. niger has five genes encoding cutinases and Ancut2 is one of them. To facilitate up-scaling, the enzyme was expressed in a surrogate host, the yeast Pichia pastoris. The partially purified AnCUT2 showed hydrolytic activity towards various synthetic esters. Scanning Electron Microscopy showed that AnCUT2 was also capable of modifying surfaces of synthetic plastics and that it worked well in acidic pH. Thus, AnCUT2 may be applied in synthetic fiber modification and fruit processing industries.

Why is it important?

AnCUT2 showed the capability to modify the surface of synthetic polyesters. Synthetic polyesters, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the most commonly used polymer in beverage containers, food packaging and electronic industry, represents a total of 50% of the global market for textile fibers. An increased hydrophilicity of the fiber is required to facilitate the dyeing process of these fibers using enzymatic treatments as opposed to using harsh chemicals. Thus, the partial hydrolyzing properties observed in AnCUT2 towards such synthetic polyesters may also be exploited in synthetic fiber modification.


Farah Diba Abu Bakar
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

I hope that readers will find this article interesting and useful especially with regards to understanding how one can isolate and characterize enzymes with novel or interesting applications.

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The following have contributed to this page: Farah Diba Abu Bakar