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Keywords:

  • laccase;
  • redox potential;
  • phenolic compounds;
  • coupling reactions;
  • dyes

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the ability of an extracellular fungal laccase (LAC) to form colored products from simple non-colored organic precursors. Thirty different phenolic and non-phenolic precursors (o-, m-, and p-methoxy-, hydroxy-, sulfonic-, and amino-substituted) were tested as single and coupled substrates in a LAC-catalyzed oxidation. The findings show that LAC catalyzes the formation of colored products (from yellow/brown to red and blue) by oxidation of single substrates that are benzene derivatives containing at least two substituents comprised of amino, hydroxy, and methoxy groups. All precursors were tested by cyclic voltammetry and the correlation between their structure and redox potential, and the possibility of their transformation into colored products by fungal LAC was found. Colored products were yielded from single substrates possessing a value of the oxidation peak (Eo) lower than 1,150 mV vs. normal hydrogen electrode (NHE). Substrates with an oxidation peak higher than 1,150 mV vs. NHE were transformed by LAC into colored compounds only in the presence of an additional precursor characterized by a low value of Eo and the presence of reactive substituents such as methoxy, hydroxy, and amino groups. Therefore, additional hydroxylation, methoxylation, and amination of phenolic and non-phenolic substrates may represent a strategy to increase the range of these compounds as potential dyes precursors. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012