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Laccase from Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) Polymerizes Monolignols

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  • Metabolism And Enzymology
  • Biology


Current understanding of the final oxidative steps leading to lignin deposition in trees and other higher plants is limited with respect to what enzymes are involved, where they are localized, how they are transported, and what factors regulate them. With the use of cell suspension cultures of sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), an in-depth study of laccase, one of the oxidative enzymes possibly responsible for catalyzing the dehydrogenative polymerization of monolignols in the extracellular matrix, was undertaken. The time course for secretion of laccase into suspension culture medium was determined with respect to age and mass of the cells. Laccase was completely separated from peroxidase activity by hydrophobic interaction column chromatography, and its purity was assessed with different types of gel electrophoresis (isoelectric focusing-, native-, and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis). Amino acid and glycosyl analyses of the purified enzyme were compared with those reported from previous studies of plant and fungal laccases. The specific activity of laccase toward several common substrates, including monolignols, was determined. Unlike a laccase purified from the Japanese lacquer tree (Rhus vernicifera), laccase from sycamore maple oxidized sinapyl, coniferyl, and p-coumaryl alcohols to form water-insoluble polymers (dehydrogenation polymers).

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