Laccases of prokaryotic origin: Enzymes at the interface of protein science and protein technology

Ligia Maria Martins, Paulo Durão, Vania Sofia Brissos, Peter F. Lindley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The ubiquitous members of the multicopper oxidase family of enzymes oxidize a range of aromatic substrates such as polyphenols, methoxy-substituted phenols, amines and inorganic compounds, concomitantly with the reduction of molecular dioxygen to water. This family of enzymes can be broadly divided into two functional classes: metalloxidases and laccases. Several prokaryotic metalloxidases have been described in the last decade showing a robust activity towards metals, such as Cu(I), Fe(II) or Mn(II) and have been implicated in the metal metabolism of the corresponding microorganisms. Many laccases, with a superior efficiency for oxidation of organic compounds when compared with metals, have also been identified and characterized from prokaryotes, playing roles that more closely conform to those of intermediary metabolism. This review aims to present an update of current knowledge on prokaryotic multicopper oxidases, with a special emphasis on laccases, anticipating their enormous potential for industrial and environmental applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-922
Number of pages12
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Biotechnology
  • Laccases
  • Ligninolysis
  • Metal resistance
  • Metalloxidases
  • Structure-function


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