Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Structure, function and industrial applications of plant laccases and peridoxases

Laccases and peroxidases are enzymes involved in the oxidation of phenolic compounds. Such compounds fill many roles in plants. They are constituents of lignin, provide pigmentation and are involved in a number of protective mechanisms including the response to wounding and viral infection. In the agro-food industry they are important as the major cause of biological colour in sugar and starch crops. The mechanisms of colour formation in paper pulping is also, in part, similar. In effect, the breaking of cells or cell walls releases both substrate and enzymes, resulting in coloured products. Through the project, a better understanding of these enzymes has been developed through isolation, characterization and expression in fermentation systems. Potential applications in effluent decolourization and other industrial applications such as enzyme-linked immunoassays have also been assessed.

The main accomplishments of the work are as follows: isolation and purification of peroxidases, laccases and the newly discovered laccase like proteins; construction of antisense transformant plants carrying chimaeric genes including the laccase sequence and peroxidase; study of the expression of peroxidases and the related enzyme cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD); exploitation of the enzymological characteristics of the oxidases and peroxidases and the chemical structure of their natural substrates; expression and folding of recombinant peroxidases in Escherichia coli; large scale preparation and purification of Rigidoporus lignosus laccase; testing their usefulness in industrial processes and enzyme linked immunoassays (EIA).

Reported by

University of Edinburgh
Daniel Rutherford Building
EH9 3JH Edinburgh
United Kingdom