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Sorption-assisted surface conjugation: a way to stabilize laccase enzyme

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Enyzme immobilization on solid surfaces is one of the most relevant methods to improve enzyme activity and stability under harsh conditions over extended periods. A typically interesting application is the immobilization of laccases, multicopper enzymes oxidizing aromatic compounds, to solid surfaces in order to develop valuable tools for the elimination of micropollutants in wastewater. Laccase of the white-rot fungus Coriolopsis polyzona has been successfully immobilized on fumed silica nanoparticles using a novel method. It consists in the sorption of the enzyme to amino-modified silica nanoparticles and the subsequent covalent cross-linking using glutaraldehyde as a homobifunctional linker. The so-produced nanoparticulate material has been characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area analysis revealing modifications of the surface structure and area during the coupling procedure. Laccase immobilization on spherical nanoparticles produced according to the method of Stöber has been shown to be much less efficient than on fumed silica nanoparticles. Long-term stability assays revealed that the novel developed method allows a drastic stabilization of the enzyme. In real wastewater, 77% of the laccase activity remained on the nanoparticles over 1 month, whereas the activity of free laccase dropped to 2.5%. The activity loss on the nanoparticles resulted from partial inactivation of the immobilized enzymes and additional release into the surrounding solution with subsequent fast inactivation of the free enzymes, since almost no activity was found in the supernatants.

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The authors thank Dr. D. Schlosser (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ) for his valuable comments on this study and Wetlands Engineering SPRL for the supply of laccase. The support of the Commission for Technology and Innovation of the Swiss Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (Grant PFNM-NM 9632.1) and the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Program under grant agreement 265946 is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Philippe F. X. Corvini.

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Zimmermann, Y., Shahgaldian, P., Corvini, P.F.X. et al. Sorption-assisted surface conjugation: a way to stabilize laccase enzyme. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 92, 169–178 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3534-6

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  • Laccase
  • Silica nanoparticles
  • Enzyme immobilization
  • ABTS