Permeabilization was used for the purpose of transforming the cells of microorganisms into biocatalysts with an enhanced enzyme activity. Baker’s yeast cells were permeabilized with various organic solvents. A high degree of catalase activity was observed upon permeabilization with acetone, chloroform, isopropyl alcohol and ethyl acetate. Response surface methodology was used to model the effect of concentration of isopropyl alcohol, temperature and treatment time on the permeabilization of baker’s yeast cells to maximize the decomposition of H2O2. The optimum operating conditions for permeabilization were observed at 53.7% concentration of isopropyl alcohol, treatment time of 40 min and temperature of 15.6oC. A maximum value of catalase activity was found to be 6.188 U/g wet wt. and was ca. 60 times higher than the catalytic activity of yeast not treated by the permeabilization process.
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