A critical review on properties and applications of microbial l-asparaginases

Prajna Rao Krishnapura, Prasanna D. Belur, Sandeep Subramanya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: l-Asparaginase is one of the main drugs used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a commonly diagnosed pediatric cancer. Although several microorganisms are found to produce l-asparaginase, only the purified enzymes from E. coli and Erwinia chrysanthemi are employed in the clinical and therapeutic applications in humans. However, their therapeutic response seldom occurs without some evidence of hypersensitivity and other toxic side effects. l-Asparaginase is also of prospective use in food industry to reduce the formation of acrylamide in fried, roasted or baked food products. This review is an attempt to compile information on the properties of l-asparaginases obtained from different microorganisms. The complications involved with the therapeutic use of the currently available l-asparaginases, and the enzyme’s potential application as a food processing aid to mitigate acrylamide formation have also been reviewed. Further, avenues for searching alternate sources of l-asparaginase have been discussed, highlighting the prospects of endophytic microorganisms as a possible source of l-asparaginases with varied biochemical and pharmacological properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-737
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Reviews in Microbiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2 2016


  • Acrylamide
  • anticancer
  • endophytes
  • l-asparaginase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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