Enzymes are ubiquitous naturalbiocatalyst that are increasingly attractive to the field of chemicaltransformation, biosensing, bioremediation and disease therapy. This attractionis derived from some excellent features of enzymes such as, high turn-overnumber, high activity, selectivity and specificity among others. In addition tothat, enzymes offer to perform most complex chemical process under the verymild environmental and experimental conditions.
However together with thesesuitable properties, enzyme have others that make their implementationdifficult. Among these the storage and operational stabilities affect theusefulness of enzymes in many instances. Major application of enzymes involves harshoperational conditions such as high temperature, high salt concentration,presence of surfactant/chaotropic agents, high or low pH, presence ofproteolytic enzymes, and the presence of organic solvents where organic solventis used to increase the solubility of hydrophobic substrate in aqueous medium.Hence, the need to stabilize enzymes against thermo-deactivation, deactivationin presence of organic solvent, surfactant or chaotropic agents is imperative.There have been many approaches to improve the enzyme stability: enzymeimmobilization, enzyme modification, protein engineering, and mediumengineering. Among these stabilization methods, immobilization strategies havebeen extensively studied and immerged as a powerful tool to improve almost allenzymes properties. It involves attachment or incorporation of enzymes onto orinto large nanostructures via simple adsorption, covalent attachment, orencapsulation. However, this method of enzyme stabilization suffers severaldisadvantages such as, mass transfer limitations, loss of enzyme activity, lossof the enzyme due to leakage, operational restraints, requirement foradditional material and equipment, immobility of enzyme molecules insidecarriers, particle erosion and non-biological compartmentalization of enzymesfor disease therapy.
Recently we have developed anenzyme immobilization technique capable of encapsulating enzymes inside the Qbnanoparticles by RNA mediate noncovalent association. We have observed thatthis method can improve enzyme production, isolation, performance, and lifetimeby sequestering the enzyme in a protective biocompatible shell that allowssmall-molecule substrates and products to diffuse in and out. Moreover, the protectiveshell able to stabilize enzymes against thermal degradation, protease attack,and hydrophobic adsorption. Despite so many advantages in the preparation of Qbnanoparticles encapsulated enzymes, many important aspects remain untouched andthat need to be addressed thoroughly. These understandings about VLP basedenzyme encapsulation will help such system evolve from study level to potentialapplications.