The Red Sea Atlantis II brine pool is an extreme environment that displays multiple harsh conditions such as high temperature, high salinity and high concentrations of multiple, toxic heavy metals. The survival of microbes in such an environment by utilizing resistant enzymes makes them an excellent source of extremophilic enzymes. We constructed a fosmid metagenomic library using DNA isolated from the deepest and most secluded layer of this pool. We report the isolation and biochemical characterization of an unusual esterase: EstATII. EstATII is thermophilic (optimum temperature, 65 C), halotolerant (maintains its activity in up to 4.5â€...M NaCl) and maintains at least 60% of its activity in the presence of a wide spectrum of heavy metals. The combination of biochemical characteristics of the Red Sea Atlantis II brine pool esterase, i.e., halotolerance, thermophilicity and resistance to heavy metals, makes it a potentially useful biocatalyst.
Mohamed YM, Ghazy MA, Sayed A, Ouf A, El-Dorry H, et al. (2013) Isolation and characterization of a heavy metal-resistant, thermophilic esterase from a Red Sea Brine Pool. Scientific Reports 3. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep03358.
This work was supported by King Abdullah University for Science and Technology Global Collaborative Partners (GCR) program. YMM was partly funded by an Al-Alfi Biotechnology Fellowship.