Structural Biology of Fungal Multicopper Oxidases
Pp. 57-72 (16)
Francisco J. Enguita
Copper containing proteins are widespread in nature, ranging from humans to simple prokaryotes.
They are involved in several functions related with copper homeostasis, transport and energy metabolism.
Multicopper oxidases are a well characterized group of copper-containing proteins, characterized by their ability
to employ the redox properties of the copper atoms to catalyze substrate oxidations. The multicopper oxidases
have been classified in three distinct families according to their fold and properties: (I) nitrite reductase-type, (II)
laccase-type and (III) ceruloplasmin-type. In fungi, multicopper oxidases showed versatile metabolic properties,
being involved in reactions such as polymerization of phenolic acids to constitute lignin, and the oxidative
degradation of xenobiotic compounds. In this review we will analyze in detail the structural properties of two
main groups of fungal multicopper oxidases, laccases and tyrosinases, in order to establish solid structure-activity
relationships among all their members. Structural features of multicopper oxidases from fungal origin will be also
related with the substrate specificity of the enzymes and their possible applications in biotechnological processes.
Unidade de Biologia Celular. Instituto de Medicina Molecular. Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade de Lisboa. Av. Prof. Egas Moniz. 1649-028 Lisboa. Portugal.