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Pleurotus pulmonarius: a protease-producing white rot fungus in lignocellulosic residues


The production of proteases by white rot fungi, such as those of the genus Pleurotus, is related to the degradation of wood proteins, the substrate on which these fungi grow in the environment. From the point of view of production, they are still little explored for this purpose. A selection of agro-industrial residues highlighted corn bagasse as the best substrate for solid-state protease production using the basidiomycete Pleurotus pulmonarius. The enzyme production was maximized through a factorial design, where the enzyme activity increased from 137.8 ± 1.9 to 234.1 ± 2.7 U/mL. Factors such as temperature stability, pH, and chemical reagents were evaluated. The optimum temperature was 45 °C, showing low thermal stability at higher temperatures. The enzyme inhibition occurred by Mn2+ (50.3%) and Ba2+ (76.4%); SDS strongly inhibited the activity (82.4%), while pepstatin A partially inhibited (56%), suggesting an aspartic protease character. Regarding pH, the highest protease activity was obtained at pH 5.5. Partial characterization resulted in apparent values of the KM and Vmax constants of 0.61 mg/mL and 1.79 mM/min, respectively.

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The authors thank to Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico (CNPq), and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) finance code 001.

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Data curation: Inácio FD, Bueno PSA, Nolli MM; methodology: Inácio FD, Janeiro V; supervision and responsible for the financial support: Peralta RM, Souza CGM; writing—original draft: Contato AG, Inácio FD; writing—review and editing: Contato AG. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Alex Graça Contato.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Contato, A.G., Inácio, F.D., Bueno, P.S.A. et al. Pleurotus pulmonarius: a protease-producing white rot fungus in lignocellulosic residues. Int Microbiol (2022).

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  • Proteases
  • Factorial design
  • Corn bagasse
  • Pleurotus pulmonarius
  • White rot fungi