Two additional disulfide bonds and three combined thermostabilizing mutations were introduced into Aspergillus awamori glucoamylase to test their effects on enzyme thermostability and catalytic properties. The single cysteine mutations N20C, A27C, T72C and A471C were made and combined to produce the double cysteine mutations N20C/ A27C and T72C/A471C. The double cysteine mutants were expressed efficiently in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and disulfide bonds formed spontaneously after fermentation. At 50 degrees C, the single mutants N20C and A27C had decreased specific activity, whereas the specific activity of the double mutants N20C/A27C and T72C/A471C were similar to wild-type glucoamylase. The N20C/A27C mutation increased thermostability, with an increased activation free energy of 1.5 kJ/mol at 65 degrees C, while the single mutation A27C only slightly increased thermostability and N20C decreased it. The other disulfide bond-forming mutation T72C/A471C did not affect thermostability at pH 4.5. The N20C/A27C mutation was separately combined with two other thermostabilizing mutations, G137A and S436P. Thermostabilities of all of the combined mutated glucoamylases were additive. N20C/A27C/G137A glucoamylase had higher specific activity than wild-type glucoamylase from 45 to 67.5 degrees C. The disulfide bond between positions 20 and 27 connects the C-terminus of helix 1 and the following beta-turn, suggesting that this region is important for glucoamylase thermostability.