• 1 Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, Biomedicine Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
  • 2 Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310, Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
  • 3 Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM), Pagoh Higher Educational Hub, 84600, Muar, Johor, Malaysia
  • 4 Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematical Sciences, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 2021 Feb;105(3):899-907.
PMID: 33427934 DOI: 10.1007/s00253-020-11074-0


Psychrophiles are cold-living microorganisms synthesizing enzymes that are permanently active at almost near-zero temperatures. Psychrozymes are supposed to be structurally more flexible than their homologous proteins. This structural flexibility enables these proteins to undergo conformational changes during catalysis and improve catalytic efficiency at low temperatures. The outstanding characteristics of the psychrophilic enzymes have attracted the attention of the scientific community to utilize them in a wide variety of industrial and pharmaceutical applications. In this review, we first highlight the current knowledge of the cold-adaptation mechanisms of the psychrophiles. In the sequel, we describe the potential applications of the enzymes in different biotechnological processes specifically, in the production of industrial and pharmaceutical products. KEY POINTS: • Methods that organisms have evolved to survive and proliferate at cold environments. • The economic benefits due to their high activity at low and moderate temperatures. • Applications of the psychrophiles in biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.