Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) is a hemoglobin composed of a single peptide chain that catalyzes the oxidation of various substrates such as phenol and aniline in the presence of hydrogen peroxide via its iron-porphyrin catalytic center. This enzyme is widely used in industrial phenol removal, food additives, biomedicine, and clinical test reagents due to its rapid reaction rate and obvious reaction outcomes. However, the large-scale use of HRP in industrial applications still faces numerous challenges, including activity, stability, and sustainability. This study demonstrates that when peroxidase is immobilized in zwitterionic polymer hydrogels, polycarboxybetaine (PCB) and polysulfobetaine (PSB), the properties of the enzyme are improved. PCB and PSB-embedded HRP exhibit a 6.11 and 1.53 times increase in Kcat/Km value, respectively, compared to the free enzyme. The immobilized enzyme also experiences increased activity over a range of temperatures and better tolerance to extreme pH and organic solvents, including formaldehyde. In addition, immobilized HRP exhibits excellent performance in storage and reproducibility. Remarkably, PCB-HRP still retains 80% of the initial activity after a 6-week storage period and can still attain the initial catalytic level of the free enzyme after six repeated cycles. It also removes 90% of phenol within 12 min, surpassing the current pharmacy on the market. These experimental results indicated that we have successfully designed a set of stable and efficient support substrates for horseradish peroxidase, which enhances its suitability for deployment in industrial applications.

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