Laccases (p-diphenol oxidase, EC 220.127.116.11) are blue multicopper oxidases that catalyze the reduction of dioxygen to water, with a concomitant oxidation of small organic substrates. Since the description at the end of the nineteenth century of a factor catalyzing the rapid hardening of the latex of the Japanese lacquer trees (Rhus sp.) exposed to air laccases from different origins (plants, fungi bacteria) have been continuously discovered and extensively studied. Nowadays, molecular evolution and other powerful protein modification techniques offer possibilities to develop tailored laccases for a wide array of applications including drug synthesis, biosensors or biofuel cells. Here, we give an overview on strategies and results of our laboratory in the design of new biocatalysts based on laccases.
Keywords: Biocatalysts, fungal laccases, heterologous expression, mutagenesis, multicopper enzyme, biosensors, molecular evolution, Coprinopsis cinerea, Trametes sp, thermostability
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