Alkaline detergent enzymes from alkaliphiles: Enzymatic properties, genetics, and structures

Susumu Ito*, Tohru Kobayashi, Katsutoshi Ara, Katsuya Ozaki, Shuji Kawai, Yuji Hatada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


The cleaning power of detergents seems to have peaked; all detergents contain similar ingredients and are based on similar detergency mechanisms. To improve detergency, modern types of heavy-duty powder detegents and automatic dishwasher detergents usually contain one or more enzymes, such as protease, amylase, cellulase, and lipase. Alkaliphilic Bacillus strains are often good sources of alkaline extracellular enzymes, the properties of which fulfil the essential requirements for enzymes to be used in detergents. We have isolated numbers of alkaliphilic Bacillus that produce such alkaline detergent enzymes, including cellulase (CMCase), protease, α-amylase, and debranching enzymes, and have succeeded in large-scale industrial production of some of these enzymes. Here, we describe the enzymatic properties, genetics, and structures of the detergent enzymes that we have developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaliphile
  • Bacillus
  • Cellulase
  • Debranching enzyme
  • Detergent enzyme
  • Protease
  • α-Amylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Medicine


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