Background: Among therapeutic proteins, enzymes represent small and of course profitable market. They can be used to treat important, rare, and deadly diseases. Enzyme therapy is the only available treatment for certain disorders.
Method: Here, pharmaceutical enzymes are reviewed. They are categorized in four main groups, enzymes in replacement therapy, enzymes in cancer treatment, enzymes for fibrinolysis, and finally enzymes that are used topically for various treatments. Furthermore, enzyme gene therapy and future perspective of therapeutic enzymes are mentioned in brief.
Results: There are many important approved enzymes in pharmaceutical market. Several approaches such as point mutation, fusion protein designing, glycoengineering, and PEGylation were used to achieve improved enzymes. Although sometimes enzymes were engineered to facilitate production and purification process, appropriate delivery to target sites, extending half-life, and reducing immunogenicity are among the main goals of engineering approaches.
Conclusion: Overall, enzymes play a critical role in treatment of common and rare diseases. Evaluation of new enzymes as well as improvement of approved enzymes are of the most important challenges in biotechnology.