Document Type


Patent Number

US Patent 5,719,039

Patent agency

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Publication Date



University of Iowa Research Foundation (Iowa City, IA, US) ; Biotechnology Research & Development Corporation (Peoria, IL)

Application Number


Date Filed


Total Pages

15 pages


Organic enzyme solutions comprise an ion pair complex of an enzyme and a surfactant, and an organic solvent in which the enzyme-surfactant ion pair is dissolved. The solution has catalytic activity at least an order of magnitude greater than a suspension of an equal amount of the enzyme and organic solvent without ion pair complexes. The enzyme is preferably a hydrolase with an acyl transferase activity and the surfactant is Aerosol OT (sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate) at low concentrations. The organic enzyme solution may be made by obtaining an aqueous solution of an enzyme at a pH of maximal enzyme activity, adding an ionic surfactant to the aqueous solution in an amount sufficient to form an ion pair, and extracting the enzyme-surfactant ion pair into an organic solvent phase without substantial formation of reversed micelles, to produce an anhydrous organic enzyme solution comprising the enzyme-surfactant ion pair dissolved in the organic solvent such that the enzyme retains native structure and substantial catalytic activity. Catalytic solutions according to the invention can be used to catalyze peptide synthesis from acyl donors and nucleophiles.