Laccases are an interesting group of multi copper enzymes, which have received much attention of researchers in last decades due to their ability to oxidize both phenolic and non-phenolic lignin related compounds as well as highly recalcitrant environmental pollutants. This makes these biocatalysts very useful for their application in several biotechnological processes. Such applications include the detoxification of industrial effluents, mostly from the paper and pulp, textile and petrochemical industries, polymer synthesis, bioremediation of contaminated soils, wine and beverage stabilization. Laccases are also used as catalysts for the manufacture of anticancer drugs and even as ingredients in cosmetics. Recently, the utility of laccases has also been applied to nanobiotechnology. This paper reviews recent and important patents related to the properties, heterologous production, molecular cloning, and applications of laccases within different industrial fields as well as their potential extension to the nanobiotechnology area.
Keywords: Laccases, properties, heterologous production, molecular cloning, industrial applications of enzymes, food industry, nanobiotechnology, pulp and paper industry, textile industry, organic synthesis