New substrate for laccase activity assays

The group of Inga Matijošyte from Life Sciences Center at the Institute of Biotechnology of Vilnius University in Vilnius, Lithuania, has developed a new substrate for the detection of laccase activity, Ferbamine. Laccases are versatile enzymes that catalyze oxidation reactions coupled to the reduction of molecular oxygen to water. They enable the degradation of lignin, the detoxification of industrial wastewater and many other biotechnological applications, including degradation of xenobiotics, biosensors and nanobiotechnology. This newly synthesized phenazine-type substrate exhibits unparalleled stability in aqueous media without the need for organic solvents. Its development fills a critical gap in high-throughput screening of laccase activity. To demonstrate the incredible applicability of Ferbamine in the discovery of laccase activity from natural resources, Jerica Sabotič’s group from the Department of Biotechnology prepared 65 extracts from 42 different basidiomycete species. The tests demonstrated the effectiveness of Ferbamine in detecting laccase activity in a range of sources, from commercial products to fungal extracts. In particular, laccase activity was detected for the first time in 26 fungal species, expanding our understanding of their biocatalytic potential. Ferbamine’s compatibility with living microorganisms emphasizes its versatility and promises seamless integration into research methods. Its ease of use makes it a valuable addition to the toolbox for the functional analysis of laccases.
DOI: 10.1007/s00253-023-12958-7

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