What is Enzyme Laccase?

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What is Enzyme Laccase? Blog Image


Recently, researchers from S. N. Bose National Center for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata, tested the efficacy of the laccase enzyme in degrading some standard dye molecules.

About Enzyme Laccase:

  • Laccase is generated by a group of fungi that have been found capable of degrading a variety of hazardous organic dye molecules that are regularly drained into waterbodies after dying clothes in the textile industry.
  • This observed characteristic which the scientists termed substrate promiscuity can have deep implications in designing enzyme-coated cassettes for treating heavily dye-polluted water.
  • Laccase was known for its capacity to degrade various organic molecules.
  • Laccase, generated by a group of fungi, contains 4 copper atoms in two different oxidation states, and degrades substrates through redox reactions, producing only water and the simplest non-virulent or less virulent Oxides of carbon, Nitrogen and sulphur.  
  • Hence the scientists saw scope in using it to develop a technology to treat/degrade the dye effluents emanating from textile industries.
  • Combining UV/Visible spectroscopy and computer simulations they demonstrated that many organic dye molecules with varying kinetics and wide variation in charge, size and shape can be degraded by the enzyme laccase.
  • This substrate promiscuity of laccase offers immense biotechnological potential for a broad-spectrum degrader for industrial dye effluents.

What is enzyme promiscuity?

  • Enzyme promiscuity is defined as the capability of an enzyme to catalyze a reaction other than the reaction for which it has been specialized.
  • Although the enzyme is known for its specificity, many enzymes are reported to be promiscuous.

What are enzymes?

  • An enzyme is a substance that acts as a catalyst in living organisms and regulates the rate at which chemical reactions proceed without being altered in the process.


Q1) What is Biotechnology?

At its simplest, biotechnology is technology based on biology - biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet.

Source: Substrate promiscuity of fungi-generated enzyme Laccase shows potential in degrading industrial dye effluents