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Anal Chem. 2014 May 6;86(9):4256-63. doi: 10.1021/ac403957t. Epub 2014 Apr 18.

Polyethyleneimine as a promoter layer for the immobilization of cellobiose dehydrogenase from Myriococcum thermophilum on graphite electrodes.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry/Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Lund University , P.O. Box 124, Lund, Scania SE-22100, Sweden.


Cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) is a promising enzyme for the construction of biofuel cell anodes and biosensors capable of oxidizing aldoses as cellobiose as well as lactose and glucose and with the ability to connect to an electrode through a direct electron transfer mechanism. In the present study, we point out the beneficial effect of a premodification of spectrographic graphite electrodes with the polycation polyethyleneimine (PEI) prior to adsorption of CDH from Myriococcum thermophilum (MtCDH). The application of PEI shifts the pH optimum of the response of the MtCDH modified electrode from pH 5.5 to 8. The catalytic currents to lactose were increased up to 140 times, and the K(M)(app) values were increased up to 9 times. The previously investigated, beneficial effect of divalent cations on the activity of CDH was also present for graphite/PEI/MtCDH electrodes but was less pronounced. Polarization curves revealed a second unexpected catalytic wave for graphite/PEI/MtCDH electrodes especially pronounced at pH 8. Square wave voltammetric studies revealed the presence of an unknown redox functionality present at 192 mV vs Ag|AgCl (0.1 M KCl) at pH 8, probably originating from an oxidized adenosine derivative. Adenosine is a structural part of the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor of the dehydrogenase domain of CDH. It is suggested that for some enzyme molecules FAD leaks out from the active site, adsorbs onto graphite, and is oxidized on the electrode surface into a product able to mediate the electron transfer between CDH and the electrode. PEI is suggested and discussed to act in several manners by (a) increasing the surface loading of the enzyme, (b) possibly increasing the electron transfer rate between CDH and the electrode, and (c) facilitating the creation or immobilization of redox active adenosine derivatives able to additionally mediate the electron transfer between CDH and the electrode.

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