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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 May;61(5):1876-80.

Lignin oxidation by laccase isozymes from Trametes versicolor and role of the mediator 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonate) in kraft lignin depolymerization.

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Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, Pointe Claire, Quebec, Ontario.


Two laccase isozymes (I and II) produced by the white-rot fungus Trametes versicolor were purified, and their reactivities towards various substrates and lignins were studied. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of these enzymes were determined and compared to other known laccase sequences. Laccase II showed a very high sequence similarity to a laccase which was previously reported to depolymerize lignin. The reactivities of the two isozymes on most of the substrates tested were similar, but there were some differences in the oxidation rate of polymeric substrates. We found that the two laccases produced similar qualitative effects on kraft lignin and residual lignin in kraft pulp, with no evidence of a marked preference for depolymerization by either enzyme. However, the presence of the mediator 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonate) prevented and reversed the polymerization of kraft lignin by either laccase. The delignification of hardwood and softwood kraft pulps with the two isozymes and the mediator was compared; either laccase was able to reduce the kappa number of pulp, but only in the presence of 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonate).

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