This review analyses the role of cutinases in nature and their potential biotechnological applications. The cloning and expression of a fungal cutinase from Fusarium solani f. pisi
, in Escherichia coli
and Saccharomyces cerevisiae
hosts are described. The three dimensional structure of this cutinase is also analysed and its function as a lipase discussed and compared with other lipases. The biocatalytic applications of cutinase are described taking into account the preparation of different cutinase forms and the media where the different types of enzymatic reactions have been performed, namely hydrolysis, esterification, transesterification and resolution of racemic mixtures. The stability of cutinase preparations is discussed, particularly in anionic reversed micelles considering the role of hexanol as substrate, co-surfactant and stabilizer. Process development based on the operation of cutinase reactors is also reviewed.