, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 823-832
Date: 15 Nov 2006

Bacterial laccases

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Laccases (benzenediol oxygen oxidoreductases, EC are polyphenol oxidases (PPO) that catalyze the oxidation of various substituted phenolic compounds by using molecular oxygen as the electron acceptor. The ability of laccases to act on a wide range of substrates makes them highly useful biocatalysts for various biotechnological applications. To date, laccases have mostly been isolated and characterized from plants and fungi, and only fungal laccases are used currently in biotechnological applications. In contrast, little is known about bacterial laccases, although recent rapid progress in the whole genome analysis suggests that the enzymes are widespread in bacteria. Since bacterial genetic tools and biotechnological processes are well established, so developing bacterial laccases would be significantly important. This review summarizes the distribution of laccases among bacteria, their functions, comparison with fungal laccases and their applications.