Synthetic Applications of Laccase in Green Chemistry



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Laccases (benzenediol:oxygen oxidoreductase, EC, multi-copper-containing oxidoreductase enzymes, are able to catalyze the oxidation of various low-molecular weight compounds, specifically, phenols and anilines, while concomitantly reducing molecular oxygen to water. Because of their high stability, selectivity for phenolic substructures, and mild reaction conditions, laccases are attractive for fine chemical synthesis. This review provides a discussion of the recent applications of this interesting enzyme in synthetic chemistry, including laccase and laccase-mediator catalyzed reactions. In addition, the review also includes a brief discussion of the distribution of laccase in nature, enzyme structure, and the catalytic mechanism which are of relevance to their applications as biocatalysts.