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Microbiology. 2004 Sep;150(Pt 9):3065-74.

Expression of Melanocarpus albomyces laccase in Trichoderma reesei and characterization of the purified enzyme.

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  • 1VTT Biotechnology, PO Box 1500, Fin-02044 VTT, Finland.


Previous studies on Melanocarpus albomyces laccase have shown that this enzyme is very interesting for both basic research purposes and industrial applications. In order to obtain a reliable and efficient source for this laccase, it was produced in the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei. Two approaches were used: production of a non-fused laccase and a hydrophobin-laccase fusion protein. Both proteins were expressed in T. reesei under the cbh1 promoter, and significantly higher activities were obtained with the non-fused laccase in shake-flask cultures (corresponding to about 230 mg l(-1)). Northern blot analyses showed rather similar mRNA levels from both expression constructs. Western analysis indicated intracellular accumulation and degradation of the hydrophobin-laccase fusion protein, showing that production of the fusion was limited at the post-transcriptional level. No induction of the unfolded protein response pathway by laccase production was detected in the transformants by Northern hybridization. The most promising transformant was grown in a fermenter in batch and fed-batch modes. The highest production level obtained in the fed-batch culture was 920 mg l(-1). The recombinant laccase was purified from the culture supernatant after cleaving the major contaminating protein, cellobiohydrolase I, by papain. The recombinant and wild-type laccases were compared with regard to substrate kinetics, molecular mass, pH optimum, thermostability, and processing of the N- and C-termini, and they showed very similar properties.

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