Advances in Genome Science

Volume: 4

Genes in Health and Disease

Indexed in: EBSCO, Ulrich's Periodicals Directory

Genome science or genomics is essential to advancing knowledge in the fields of biology and medicine. Specifically, researchers learn about the molecular biology behind genetic expression in living ...
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Directed Evolution of Fungal Laccases: An Update

Pp. 91-112 (22)

Diana M. Mate and Miguel Alcalde

Abstract

Fungal laccases are generalists biocatalysts with potential applications that range from bioremediation to novel green processes. Fuelled by molecular oxygen, these enzymes can act on dozens of molecules of different chemical nature, and with the help of redox mediators, their spectrum of oxidizable substrates is further pushed towards xenobiotic compounds (pesticides, industrial dyes, PAHs), biopolymers (lignin, starch, cellulose) and other complex molecules. In recent years, extraordinary efforts have been made to engineer fungal laccases by directed evolution and semi-rational approaches to improve their functional expression or stability. All these studies have taken advantage of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a heterologous host, not only to secrete the enzyme but also, to emulate the introduction of genetic diversity through in vivo DNA recombination. Here, we discuss all these endeavours to convert fungal laccases into valuable biomolecular platforms on which new functions can be tailored by directed evolution.

Keywords:

Directed evolution, functional expression, fungal laccases, highthroughput screening, in vivo DNA recombination, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, stability.

Affiliation:

Department of Biocatalysis, Institute of Catalysis, CSIC, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.