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Computer-aided discovery of a novel thermophilic laccase for low-density polyethylene degradation

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  • Yan Zhang
  • ,
  • Thea Jess Plesner
  • Yi Ouyang
  • Yu-Cong Zheng, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
  • ,
  • Etienne Bouhier, University of Technology of Compiegne
  • ,
  • Emilie Ingemann Berentzen, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University
  • ,
  • Mingliang Zhang, Fujian Normal University, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University
  • ,
  • Pengfei Zhou, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Agricultural Product Processing
  • ,
  • Wolfgang Zimmermann , Leipzig University
  • ,
  • Gregers Rom Andersen
  • Zheng Guo

Polyethylene (PE) and industrial dyes are recalcitrant pollutants calling for the development of sustainable solutions for their degradation. Laccases have been explored for removal of contaminants and pollutants, including dye decolorization and plastic degradation. Here, a novel thermophilic laccase from PE-degrading Lysinibaccillus fusiformis (LfLAC3) was identified through a computer-aided and activity-based screening. Biochemical studies of LfLAC3 indicated its high robustness and catalytic promiscuity. Dye decolorization experiments showed that LfLAC3 was able to degrade all the tested dyes with decolorization percentage from 39% to 70% without the use of a mediator. LfLAC3 was also demonstrated to degrade low-density polyethylene (LDPE) films after eight weeks of incubation with either crude cell lysate or purified enzyme. The formation of a variety of functional groups was detected using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Damage on the surfaces of PE films was observed via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The potential catalytic mechanism of LfLAC3 was disclosed by structure and substrate-binding modes analysis. These findings demonstrated that LfLAC3 is a promiscuous enzyme that has promising potential for dye decolorization and PE degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131986
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

    Research areas

  • Dye decolorization, Enzyme discovery, Laccase, PE degradation, Thermophilic enzyme

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