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Evaluation of proteolytic activity of the residue obtained from shredding the leaves of Agave sisalana Perrine (sisal)

Grant number: 12/07137-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Enzymology
Principal Investigator:Pedro de Oliva Neto
Grantee:Bárbara Camarini Albuquerque Arruda
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil


The Agave sisalana (sisal) is currently responsible for producing the main hard fiber in the world. This generates more than half a million direct or indirect jobs and represents approximately 80 million dollars in foreign exchange to Brazil, which is the largest producer and exporter of sisal, whose cultivation is concentrated in the semi-arid region, with a predominance of family labor. Enzymes are potent biochemical catalysts, among them, the proteolytic enzymes carry out the hydrolysis of proteins into their constituent amino acids. These enzymes are used in diverse areas such the pharmaceutical, food and textile industries, as well as in medicine and scientific researches. Since the demand for these types of catalysts is growing, the discovering of new sources for obtaining it becomes necessary. Although there are many studies of structure and chemical composition of the sisal fibers in the literature, the number of scientific researches performed with the processing of residue (integral mucilage) resulting from the shredding of the leaves of this plant is insignificant and very little in known about their proteolytic activity. Therefore, the objective of this work is an important initiative that proposes new biotechnologies for the enzymatic use of the processing residue and/or the crude liquid extract of this plant, which currently are not used and may, in the future, contribute to the improvement of quality of life of farmers in that region. There will be made, in this study, biochemical tests of enzymatic characterization and enzymatic stability at different pHs and temperatures, in which will be used both the integral mucilage and the liquid extract obtained after their separation.(AU)

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