Cloning of a serine alkaline protease from Bacillus licheniformis for leather industry

Fatimah Al-Hih and Fawzi Al-Razem
3rd Conference of Biotechnology in Palestine

The industrial sector plays a significant role in the process of economic development in Palestine. Leather industry was considered as one of the largest industrial sectors until the end of last decade. In Palestine, there are 18 tanneries, 10 of them are in Hebron city and some in Nablus[1-2].

Although tannery is considered one of the important industrial sectors, it is the main environmental polluter. Conventional dehairing processes of leather industry release vast amount of pollutants that contribute 80-90% of the total pollution in the industry which generate noxious gases such as hydrogen sulfide and solid wastes such as lime and chrome sludge [3] . This type of pollution is considered the major contributor to water pollution for this reason, the tanneries in Hebron are responsible for remarkable environmental impacts. However, pollution from tanneries, similar to other major industries, pose long-term negative environmental impacts irrespective of the immediate economic benefits they generate [1].

In order to overcome this problem; the use of bio-catalysts, such as engineered recombinant enzymes, in replacement of harmful industrial synthetic chemical products is the solution. Of the many industrial enzymes,  Proteases represent one of the three largest groups and account for about 60% of the total worldwide sale of enzymes [4]. Proteases have a long history of application in the food and detergent industries. Their application in the leather industry for dehairing and bating of hides to substitute currently used toxic chemicals is a relatively new development and has conferred added biotechnological importance [5]. Most commercial proteases, mainly alkaline, are produced by organisms belonging to the genus Bacillus and the best known is serine alkaline protease produced by Bacillus licheniformis [4, 6].

Here we describe our progress to-date in the production of an alkaline protease from Bacillus licheniformis.

Conference - Poster
Published date: 
Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 17:30