A variety of different pretreatments can improve the performance of enzymes in nonpolar reaction media. These pretreatments have primarily been studied in isolation; however, interactions between some pairs of pretreatments are known to exist. The presence of these interactions complicates the design of an optimum multifactor pretreatment. Modern design-of-experiments techniques allow the simultaneous optimization of two or more variables. To improve the performance of lipase in a model reaction, we used a technique called the method of steepest ascent to optimize three variables simultaneously: pretreatment pH and sodium phosphate concentration, and the concentration of acetic acid (one of the reactants) in the reaction mixture. In only 26 experimental runs, this optimization process determined a combination of variable settings that yielded a reaction product approx 180 times faster than achieved with untreated enzyme. Evidence is presented to demonstrate that locating this optimum with single-factor experiments would be inefficient. This article demonstrates the efficiency of the method of steepest ascent particularly for evaluation of enzymatic reaction conditions exhibiting significant interactions.
- Nonaqueous enzymology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology