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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jan 10;272(2):924-8.

Effects of redox potential and hydroxide inhibition on the pH activity profile of fungal laccases.

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Novo Nordisk Biotech, Davis, California 95616, USA.


The electronic absorption spectrum, susceptibility to fluoride inhibition, redox potential, and substrate turnover of several fungal laccases have been explored as a function of pH. The laccases showed a single spectrally detectable acid-base transition at pH 6-9 and a fluoride inhibition that diminished by increased pH (indicating a competition with hydroxide inhibition). Relatively small changes in the redox potentials (< or = 0.1 V) of laccase were observed over the pH 2.7-11. Under the catalysis of laccase, the apparent oxidation rates (kcat and kcat/Km) of two nonphenolic substrates, potassium ferrocyanide and 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), decreased monotonically as the pH increased. In contrast, the apparent oxidation rates (kcat and kcat/Km) of three 2,6-dimethoxyphenols (whose pKa values range from 7.0 to 8.7) exhibited bell-shaped pH profiles whose maxima were distinct for each laccase but independent of the substrate. By correlating these pH dependences, it is proposed that the balance of two opposing effects, one generated by the redox potential difference between a reducing substrate and the type 1 copper of laccase (which correlates to the electron transfer rate and is favored for a phenolic substrate by higher pH) and another generated by the binding of a hydroxide anion to the type 2/type 3 coppers of laccase (which inhibits the activity at higher pH), contributes to the pH activity profile of the fungal laccases.

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