Scientists of ASU develop unique enzyme for cheese production

6 September 2018 Department of Information and Media Communications

The scientists of Altai State University have developed a unique enzyme for cheese production. Altai State University currently works on three projects in the field of biotechnology, which received financial support from the Council for the Development of Biotechnology under the Governor of Altai Krai.

One of them involves the development of recombinant chymosin, an import-substituting enzyme used in the production of cheese. This is the project supervised by Candidate of Biology, Assistant Professor at the Department of Organic Chemistry of Altai State University, Head of the Laboratory for Immunochemistry Dmitry Shcherbakov entitled "Obtaining the Genetic Engineering Milk-Clotting Enzyme and Studying Its Technological Properties".

"Previously, we were making an enzyme used in the production of cheese, based on bovine chymosin. But we got an idea to make a new product using the knowledge of proteomics. For example, chymosin must acquire a certain structure, or simply fold, in order to become active and, accordingly, be used in cheese-making. The folding process can provide additional proteins. Our research team developed a structure that, besides chymosin, included an additional folding assistant protein thioredoxin," project supervisor explained.

According to the scientist, no one has ever done this before. In part, this project intersects with the previous developments of ASU chemists, but this project involves realization of a new idea commissioned by Altai Krai Administration for Food, Processing and Pharmaceutical Industry and Biotechnology, which implies the creation of such exclusive products as a unique import-substituting enzyme having better characteristics than its analogues.

"We've already produced the enzyme, and our colleagues from the Siberian Research Institute of Cheese Making started to test it. Its working name is a genetically engineered milk-clotting enzyme. If it shows any advantages and improved technological characteristics, then, perhaps, it will be given a special name. By the end of 2018, we plan to complete the testing of the enzyme and obtain its technological characteristics," Dmitry Shcherbakov summed up.

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