Characterization of the role of esterases in the biodegradation of organophosphate, carbamate, and pyrethroid pesticides


Ester-containing organophosphate, carbamate, and pyrethroid (OCP) pesticides are used worldwide to minimize the impact of pests and increase agricultural production. The toxicity of these chemicals to humans and other organisms has been widely reported. Chemically, these pesticides share an ester bond in their parent structures. A particular group of hydrolases, known as esterases, can catalyze the first step in ester-bond hydrolysis, and this initial regulatory metabolic reaction accelerates the degradation of OCP pesticides. Esterases can be naturally found in plants, animals, and microorganisms. Previous research on the esterase enzyme mechanisms revealed that the active sites of esterases contain serine residues that catalyze reactions via a nucleophilic attack on the substrates. In this review, we have compiled the previous research on esterases from different sources to determine and summarize the current knowledge of their properties, classifications, structures, mechanisms, and their applications in the removal of pesticides from the environment. This review will enhance the understanding of the scientific community when studying esterases and their applications for the degradation of broad-spectrum ester-containing pesticides.

Authors: Pankaj Bhatt, Xiaofan Zhou, Yaohua Huang, Wenping Zhang, Shaohua Chen
; Full Source: Journal of hazardous materials 2021 Jan 5;411:125026. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.125026.