Author(s): Mulchandani A, Kaneva I, Chen W
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Abstract An improved whole-cell technology for detoxifying organophosphate nerve agents was recently developed based on genetically engineered Escherichia coli with organophosphorus hydrolase anchored on the surface. This article reports the immobilization of these novel biocatalysts on nonwoven polypropylene fabric and their applications in detoxifying contaminated wastewaters. The best cell loading (256 mg cell dry weight/g of support or 50 mg cell dry weight/cm2 of support) and subsequent hydrolysis of organophosphate nerve agents were achieved by immobilizing nongrowing cells in a pH 8, 150 mM citrate-phosphate buffer supplemented with 1 mM Co2+ for 48 h via simple adsorption, followed by organophosphate hydrolysis in a pH 8, 50 mM citrate-phosphate buffer supplemented with 0.05 mM Co2+ and 20\% methanol at 37 degrees C. In batch operations, the immobilized cells degraded 100\% of 0.8 mM paraoxon, a model organophosphate nerve agent, in approximately 100 min, at a specific rate of 0.160 mM min-1 (g cell dry wt)-1. The immobilized cells retained almost 100\% activity during the initial six repeated cycles and close to 90\% activity even after 12 repeated cycles, extending over a period of 19 days without any nutrient supplementation. In addition to paraoxon, other commonly used organophosphates, such as diazinon, coumaphos, and methylparathion were hydrolyzed efficiently. The cell immobilization technology developed here paves the way for an efficient, simple, and cost-effective method for detoxification of organophosphate nerve agents. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
This article was published in Biotechnol Bioeng
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation