Isolation and characterization of a heavy metal-resistant, thermophilic esterase from a Red Sea Brine Pool

Yasmine M. Mohamed, Mohamed A. Ghazy, Ahmed Sayed, Amged Ouf, Hamza El-Dorry, Rania Siam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The Red Sea Atlantis II brine pool is an extreme environment that displays multiple harsh conditions such as high temperature, high salinity and high concentrations of multiple, toxic heavy metals. The survival of microbes in such an environment by utilizing resistant enzymes makes them an excellent source of extremophilic enzymes. We constructed a fosmid metagenomic library using DNA isolated from the deepest and most secluded layer of this pool. We report the isolation and biochemical characterization of an unusual esterase: EstATII. EstATII is thermophilic (optimum temperature, 65 C), halotolerant (maintains its activity in up to 4.5â€...M NaCl) and maintains at least 60% of its activity in the presence of a wide spectrum of heavy metals. The combination of biochemical characteristics of the Red Sea Atlantis II brine pool esterase, i.e., halotolerance, thermophilicity and resistance to heavy metals, makes it a potentially useful biocatalyst.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 28 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by King Abdullah University for Science and Technology Global Collaborative Partners (GCR) program. YMM was partly funded by an Al-Alfi Biotechnology Fellowship.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolation and characterization of a heavy metal-resistant, thermophilic esterase from a Red Sea Brine Pool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this