[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the first report on a laccase, there has been a notable development in the interest towards this class of enzymes, highlighted from the number of scientific papers and patents about them. At the same time, interest in exploiting laccases-mainly high redox potential-for various functions has been growing exponentially over the last 10 years. Despite decades of work, the molecular determinants of the redox potential are far to be fully understood. For this reason, interest in tuning laccase redox potential to provide more efficient catalysts has been growing since the last years. The work herein described takes advantage of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger as host for the heterologous production of the high redox potential laccase POXA1b from Pleurotus ostreatus and of one of its in vitro selected variants (1H6C). The system herein developed allowed to obtain a production level of 35,000 U/L (583.3 μkat/L) for POXA1b and 60,000 U/L (1,000 μkat/L) for 1H6C, corresponding to 13 and 20 mg/L for POXA1b and 1H6C, respectively. The characterised proteins exhibit very similar characteristics, with some exceptions regarding catalytic behaviour, stability and spectro-electrochemical properties. Remarkably, the 1H6C variant shows a higher redox potential with respect to POXA1b. Furthermore, the spectro-electrochemical results obtained for 1H6C make it tempting to claim that we spectro-electrochemically determined the redox potential of the 1H6C T2 site, which has not been studied in any detail by spectro-electrochemistry yet.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 01/2014; · 3.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, a crude laccase preparation from Pleurotus ostreatus was successfully immobilized on perlite, a cheap porous silica material, and tested for Remazol Brilliant Blue R (RBBR) decolourisation in a fluidized bed recycle reactor. Results showed that RBBR decolourisation is mainly due to enzyme action despite the occurrence of dye adsorption-related enzyme inhibition. Fine tuning of immobilization conditions allowed balancing the immobilization yield and the resulting rate of decolourisation, with the adsorption capacity of the solid biocatalyst. In the continuous lab scale reactor, a maximum conversion degree of 56.1% was achieved at reactor space-time of 4.2 h. Stability and catalytic parameters of the immobilized laccases were also assessed in comparison with the soluble counterparts, revealing an increase in stability, despite a reduction of the catalytic performances. Both effects are most likely ascribable to the occurrence of multipoint attachment phenomena.
BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:308613. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laccases are multicopper oxidases of great biotechnological potential. While laccases are generally monomeric glycoproteins, the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus produces two closely related heterodimeric isoenzymes composed of a large subunit, homologous to the other fungal laccases, and a small subunit. The sequence of the small subunit does not show significant homology to any other protein or domain of known function and consequently its function is unknown. The highest similarity to proteins of known structure is to a putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase from Acinetobacter baumannii, which shows an identity of 27.8%. Diffraction-quality crystals of the small subunit of the heterodimeric laccase POXA3b (sPOXA3b) from P. ostreatus were obtained using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method at 294 K from a solution consisting of 1.8 M sodium formate, 0.1 M Tris-HCl pH 8.5. The crystals belonged to the tetragonal space group P41212 or P43212, with unit-cell parameters a = 126.6, c = 53.9 Å. The asymmetric unit contains two molecules related by a noncrystallographic twofold axis. A complete data set extending to a maximum resolution of 2.5 Å was collected at 100 K using a wavelength of 1.140 Å.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past decades, water pollution by trace organic compounds (ng/L) has become one of the key environmental issues in developed countries. This is the case of the emerging contaminants called endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). EDCs are a new class of environmental pollutants able to mimic or antagonize the effects of endogenous hormones, and are recently drawing scientific and public attention. Their widespread presence in the environment solicits the need of their removal from the contaminated sites. One promising approach to face this challenge consists in the use of enzymatic systems able to react with these molecules. Among the possible enzymes, oxidative enzymes are attracting increasing attention because of their versatility, the possibility to produce them on large scale, and to modify their properties. In this study five different EDCs were treated with four different fungal laccases, also in the presence of both synthetic and natural mediators. Mediators significantly increased the efficiency of the enzymatic treatment, promoting the degradation of substrates recalcitrant to laccase oxidation. The laccase showing the best performances was chosen to further investigate its oxidative capabilities against micropollutant mixtures. Improvement of enzyme performances in nonylphenol degradation rate was achieved through immobilization on glass beads.
BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:614038.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fungal laccases (p-diphenol:oxygen oxidoreductase; EC 188.8.131.52) are multi-copper-containing oxidases that catalyse the oxidation of a great variety of phenolic compounds and aromatic amines through simultaneous reduction of molecular oxygen to water. Fungi generally produce several laccase isoenzymes encoded by complex multi-gene families. The Pleurotus ostreatus genome encodes 11 putative laccase coding genes, and only six different laccase isoenzymes have been isolated and characterised so far. Laccase expression was found to be regulated by culture conditions and developmental stages even if the redundancy of these genes still raises the question about their respective functions in vivo. In this context, laccase transcript profiling analysis has been used to unravel the physiological role played by the different isoforms produced by P. ostreatus. Even if reported results depict a complex picture of the transcriptional responses exhibited by the analysed laccase genes, they were allowed to speculate on the isoform role in vivo. Among the produced laccases, LACC10 (POXC) seems to play a major role during vegetative growth, since its transcription is downregulated when the fungus starts the fructification process. Furthermore, a new tessera has been added to the puzzling mosaic of the heterodimeric laccase LACC2 (POXA3). LACC2 small subunit seems to play an additional physiological role during fructification, beside that of LACC2 complex activation/stabilisation.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 03/2012; · 3.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: White-rot basidiomycetes, the most common wood-rotting organisms, are characterized by their ability to produce extracellular oxidative enzymes, among which laccases are regarded as promising catalysts for many biotechnological applications. A significant obstacle to the exploitation of laccase-based bioprocesses is the large amounts of enzyme required. In this study the issue has been addressed by applying a classical breeding approach to increase laccase production yields in the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus. Starting from two different P. ostreatus varieties, three higher laccase-producing hybrids have been obtained by crossing selected compatible monokaryons. The three selected strains increased the titre of parental strains up to four fold, reaching an expression level of up to 100 000 U/L. One hybrid exhibited a more complex isoenzyme pattern, illustrating the potential of classical breeding to differentiate protein expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of different components of real dyeing bath formulations, such as the equalizing and fixing additives-acids, salts, and surfactants-on the decolorization catalyzed by Funalia trogii enzymatic extracts, were investigated to understand their influence on the recalcitrance to biodegradation of this type of wastewater. The decolorization of selected dyes and dye mixtures after tissue dyeing was performed in the presence/absence of auxiliary compounds. All spent dyeing baths were enzymatically decolorized to different extents, by the addition of extracts containing laccase only or laccase plus cellobiose dehydrogenase. Whereas surfactant auxiliaries, in some instances, inhibit the decolorization of spent dyeing baths, in several occurrences the acid/salt additives favor the enzymatic process. In general, the complete spent dyeing formulations are better degraded than those containing the dyes only. The comparison of extracellular extracts obtained from spent straws from the commercial growth of Pleurotus sp. mushrooms with those from F. trogii reveals similar decolorization extents thus allowing to further reduce the costs of bioremediation.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 01/2012; 96(2):395-405. · 3.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reduction of polyphenols content in olive mill wastewater (OMW) is a major issue in olive oil manufacturing. Although researchers have pointed out the potential of white-rot fungus in dephenolizing OMW, the results available in the literature mainly concern pretreated (sterilized) OMW. This paper deals with the reduction of polyphenols content in untreated OMW by means of a white-rot fungus, Pleurotus ostreatus. Dephenolization was performed both in an airlift bioreactor and in aerated flasks. The process was carried out under controlled non-sterile conditions, with different operating configurations (batch, continuous, biomass recycling) representative of potential industrial operations. Total organic carbon, polyphenols concentration, phenol oxidase activity, dissolved oxygen concentration, oxygen consumption rate, and pH were measured during every run. Tests were carried out with or without added nutrients (potato starch and potato dextrose) and laccases inducers (i.e., CuSO₄). OMW endogenous microorganisms were competing with P. ostreatus for oxygen during simultaneous fermentation. Dephenolization of raw OMW by P. ostreatus under single batch was as large as 70%. Dephenolization was still extensive even when biomass was recycled up to six times. OMW pre-aeration had to be provided under continuous operation to avoid oxygen consumption by endogenous microorganisms that might spoil the process. The role of laccases in the dephenolization process has been discussed. Dephenolization under batch conditions with biomass recycling and added nutrients proved to be the most effective configuration for OMW polyphenols reduction in industrial plants (42-68% for five cycles).
Journal of Industrial Microbiology 12/2011; 39(5):719-29. · 1.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conversion of lignocellulosic materials to useful, high value products normally requires a pre-treatment step to transform or deconstruct the recalcitrant and heterogeneous lignin fraction. The development of "green tools" for the transformation of lignocellulosic feedstocks is in high demand for a sustainable exploitation of such resources. This multi-faceted challenge is being addressed by an ever-increasing suite of ligninolytic enzymes isolated from various sources. Among these, fungal laccases are known to play an important role in lignin degradation/modification processes. The white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus expresses multiple laccase genes encoding isoenzymes with different properties. The availability of established recombinant expression systems for P. ostreatus laccase isoenzymes has allowed to further enrich the panel of P. ostreatus laccases by the construction of mutated, "better performing" enzymes through molecular evolution techniques. New oxidative catalysts with improved activity and stability either at high temperature and at acidic and alkaline pH have been isolated and characterized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ever-increasing demand of laccases for biodelignification, industrial oxidative processes and environmental bioremediation requires the production of large quantities of enzymes at low cost. The present work was carried out to reduce laccase production costs in liquid fermentations of the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus through two different approaches. In the first, screening of fungal spent media as natural laccase inducer was performed, eliminating the presence of potentially toxic/recalcitrant and expensive exogenous inducers in the culture broth. In the latter, breeding of different strains of P. ostreatus, screened for their laccase productivity, was performed by cross-hybridisation, avoiding genetic transformation and mutagenic treatments that could produce organisms not suitable for "natural or safe processes". A laccase production level close to 80,000U/L by combining the two approaches was achieved. Autoinduction and classical breeding represent promising tools for the improvement of fungal fermentation without affecting the disposable costs that also depend on the eco-compatibility of the whole process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fungal laccases are phenol oxidases widely studied for their use in several industrial applications, including pulp bleaching in paper industry, dye decolourisation, detoxification of environmental pollutants and revalorization of wastes and wastewaters. The main difficulty in using these enzymes at industrial scale ensues from their production costs. Elucidation of the components and the mechanisms involved in regulation of laccase gene expression is crucial for increasing the productivity of native laccases in fungi. Laccase gene transcription is regulated by metal ions, various aromatic compounds related to lignin or lignin derivatives, nitrogen and carbon sources. In this manuscript, most of the published results on fungal laccase induction, as well as analyses of both the sequences and putative functions of laccase gene promoters are reviewed. Analyses of promoter sequences allow defining a correlation between the observed regulatory effects on laccase gene transcription and the presence of specific responsive elements, and postulating, in some cases, a mechanism for their functioning. Only few reports have investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying laccase regulation by different stimuli. The reported analyses suggest the existence of a complex picture of laccase regulation phenomena acting through a variety of cis acting elements. However, the general mechanisms for laccase transcriptional regulation are far from being unravelled yet.
Current Genomics 04/2011; 12(2):104-12. · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A process of solid state fermentation (SSF) on tomato pomace was developed with the white-rot fungi Pleurotus ostreatus and Trametes versicolor, using sorghum stalks as support. Operative parameters (humidity, water activity, and size of substrate particles) guaranteeing a good colonization of tomato pomace by both fungi were defined and conditions for production at high titers of the industrially relevant enzymes laccase, xylanase and protease were identified. Significant laccase activity levels (up to 36 U g(-1) dry matter) were achieved without any optimization of culture conditions, neither by nutrient addition nor by O(2) enrichment. Furthermore, protease activity levels up to 34,000 U g(-1) dry matter were achieved, being higher than those reported for the fungi typically considered as the best protease producers such as Aspergillus strains. Moreover, as one of the most significant results of this study, analysis of P. ostreatus tomato SSF samples by zymogram revealed two bands with laccase activity which had not been detected so far.
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 01/2011; 163(1):40-51. · 1.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laccases (benzenediol:oxygen oxidoreductases, EC 184.108.40.206) are blue multicopper oxidases, catalyzing the oxidation of an array of aromatic substrates concomitantly with the reduction of molecular oxygen to water. Most of the known laccases have fungal or plant origins, although few laccases have been also identified in bacteria and insects. Most of the fungal laccases reported thus far are extra-cellular enzymes, whereas only few enzymes from fruiting bodies have been described so far. Multiple isoforms of laccases are usually secreted by each fungus depending on species and environmental conditions. As a fact, a laccase gene family has been demonstrated in the white-rot fungus Pleurotus ostreatus. This work allowed identification and characterization of the first laccase isoenzyme from the fruiting body of P. ostreatus. Discovery through mass spectrometry of LACC12 proves the expression of a functional protein by the related deduced encoding transcript. The topology of phylogenetic tree of fungal laccases proves that LACC12 falls in cluster with the members of P. ostreatus LACC10 (=POXC) subfamily, although lacc12 deduced intron-exon structure differs from that of the subfamily members and the related locus is located in a different chromosome. Results show that the evolutionary pattern of lacc12 and that of the other laccase isozyme genes may have evolved independently, possibly through duplication-divergence events. The reported data add a new piece to the knowledge about P. ostreatus laccase multigene family and shed light on the role(s) played by individual laccase isoforms in P. ostreatus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to develop improved laccase-based bio-catalysts, semi-rational mutagenesis of the laccase POXA1b from Pleurotus ostreatus was performed through a combination of directed evolution with elements of rational enzyme modification. The R4 laccase was prepared by joining mutations of previously selected POXA1b random variants. An enhancement of stability features was thus obtained, making the novel enzyme R4 more appropriate as scaffold for directed evolution. A library of 1000 randomly mutated variants of R4 was prepared and screened for the ability of oxidising 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS). One of the variants selected (V148L) for improved activity was also proved to show higher stability than R4 at pH 5, and to retain its high stability at pH 7 and 10. In comparison with the POXA1b wild-type laccase, the semi-rational approach allowed us to develop a more efficient bio-catalyst, rising specific activity on ABTS up to around 5-fold. The new variant was also proved to be both more versatile and more durable than the wild-type enzyme, exhibiting higher activity in wide temperature and pH ranges and higher stability at acidic (t (1/2) at pH 5 = 35 days), neutral (t (1/2) at pH 7 = 38 days) and alkaline (t (1/2) at pH 10 = 62 days) pH values.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons has been studied with the aim of developing applications for the removal of toxic compounds. Efforts have been directed toward the genetic manipulation of mesophilic bacteria to improve their ability to degrade pollutants, even though many pollution problems occur in sea waters and in effluents of industrial processes which are characterized by low temperatures. From these considerations the idea of engineering a psychrophilic microorganism for the oxidation of aromatic compounds was developed.In a previous paper it was demonstrated that the recombinant Antarctic Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TAC125 (PhTAC/tou) expressing a toluene-o-xylene monooxygenase (ToMO) is able to convert several aromatic compounds into corresponding catechols. In our work we improved the metabolic capability of PhTAC/tou cells by combining action of recombinant ToMO enzyme with that of the endogenous P. haloplanktis TAC125 laccase-like protein. This strategy allowed conferring new and specific degradative capabilities to a bacterium isolated from an unpolluted environment; indeed engineered PhTAC/tou cells are able to grow on aromatic compounds as sole carbon and energy sources. Our approach demonstrates the possibility to use the engineered psychrophilic bacterium for the bioremediation of chemically contaminated marine environments and/or cold effluents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laccases (benzenediol:oxygen oxidoreductases, EC 220.127.116.11) are blue multicopper oxidases that catalyze the oxidation of an array of aromatic substrates concomitantly with the reduction of molecular oxygen to water. In fungi, laccases carry out a variety of physiological roles during their life cycle. These enzymes are being increasingly evaluated for a variety of biotechnological applications due to their broad substrate range. In this review, the most recent studies on laccase structural features and catalytic mechanisms along with analyses of their expression are reported and examined with the aim of contributing to the discussion on their structure-function relationships. Attention has also been paid to the properties of enzymes endowed with unique characteristics and to fungal laccase multigene families and their organization.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 10/2009; 67(3):369-85. · 5.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To select better performing laccase variants among the 2300 randomly mutated variants of Pleurotus ostreatus POXA1b laccase to develop improved laccase-based biocatalysts.
Screening of collections of 2300 randomly mutated variants of POXA1b was performed by assaying activity towards the phenolic substrate 2,6-dimethoxyphenol. Two new variants endowed with higher enzyme activity than the wild-type laccase were characterized, and their ability to decolourize industrial dyes with complex trisazo-, polyazo- and stilbene-type structures, in the absence of mediators, was demonstrated. One of the mutants (2L4A) was also proved to be highly stable at both acidic and alkaline pH values (displaying a half-life of around 1 month at the pH levels of both 5 and 10).
In comparison with the wild-type laccase, the new selected 2L4A mutant shows a significant increase in stability at acidic pH, whilst storing its high stability at alkaline pH. This variant also represents a more versatile enzyme with respect to both the variety of xenobiotics degraded and the operative conditions.
This work represents the first example of improvement of a basidiomycete laccase for industrial effluents bioremediation by directed evolution.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 08/2009; 108(3):998-1006. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bleaching activity of the Pleurotus ostreatus POXC laccase isoenzyme has been tested against selected single textile acid dyes (two anthraquinonic and two azo dyes), as well as towards a solution mimicking a real acid dye waste-water for wool. The catalytic reaction of POXC has been investigated both in the presence and in the absence of the synthetic mediator violuric acid (VIO) (–NOH type of mediator). In all the cases tested, the presence of the mediator enhanced the reaction rate and the percentage of decolorization, apart from one of the dyes (Acid Blue 62), which is itself a good substrate for the laccase-catalyzed oxidation. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) experiments, after the addition of an excess of VIO to the solution of laccase, showed the presence of a strong and stable radical signal that was assigned to a neutral radical form of VIO.
Biocatalysis and Biotransformation 07/2009; 25(2-4):269-275. · 0.90 Impact Factor