Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 9, pp 4075–4086 | Cite as

A novel laccase from thermoalkaliphilic bacterium Caldalkalibacillus thermarum strain TA2.A1 able to catalyze dimerization of a lignin model compound

  • Sunil Ghatge
  • Youri Yang
  • Woo-Young Song
  • Tae-Young Kim
  • Hor-Gil Hur
Biotechnologically relevant enzymes and proteins


In the present study, the gene encoding a multicopper oxidase, more precisely a laccase from the thermoalkaliphilic aerobic bacterium Caldalkalibacillus thermarum strain TA2.A1 (CtLac), was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. CtLac is a monomeric protein with a molecular weight of 57 kDa as determined by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The optimum pH and temperature for 2,6-dimethoxyphenol (2,6-DMP) oxidation were 8.0 and 70 °C, respectively. The kinetic constants Km and kcat for 2,6-DMP were of 200 μM and 23 s−1, respectively. The enzyme was highly thermostable at 80 °C and retained more than 80% of its activity after 24 h preincubation under thermoalkaliphilic conditions. Remarkably, it showed a half-life of about 12 h at 90 °C. The enzyme activity was significantly enhanced by Cu2+ and Mn2+ and was not affected in the presence of most of the other metal ions. CtLac activity was stimulated in the presence of halides, organic solvents, and surfactants. Furthermore, the activity of CtLac on a dimeric lignin model compound, guaiacylglycerol-β-guaiacyl ether (GGGE) was investigated. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis indicated that CtLac catalyzes dimerization of GGGE to form a C5-C5 biphenyl tetramer. The stability and activity of CtLac characterized herein under thermoalkaliphilic conditions make it a highly suitable biocatalyst for various biotechnological and industrial applications.


Laccase Caldalkalibacillus thermarum Lignin Thermostability GGGE 



This work was supported by the GIST research institute (GRI) in 2017.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_8898_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (401 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 401 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth Sciences and Environmental EngineeringGwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST)GwangjuRepublic of Korea

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