Oxidation of anthracene and benzo[a]pyrene by laccases from Trametes versicolor

Patrick J. Collins, Michiel J.J. Kotterman, Jim A. Field, Alan D.W. Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

284 Scopus citations


The in vitro oxidation of the two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons anthracene and benzo[a]pyrene, which have ionization potentials of ≤7.45 eV, is catalyzed by laccases from Trametes versicolor. Crude laccase preparations were able to oxidize both anthracene and the potent carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene. Oxidation of benzo[a]pyrene was enhanced by the addition of the cooxidant 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonate) (ABTS), while an increased anthracene oxidizing ability was observed in the presence of the low-molecular-weight culture fluid ultrafiltrate. Two purified laccase isozymes from T. versicolor were found to have similar oxidative activities towards anthracene and benzo[a]pyrene. Oxidation of anthracene by the purified isozymes was enhanced in the presence of ABTS, while ABTS was essential for the oxidation of benzo[a]pyrene. In all cases anthraquinone was identified as the major end product of anthracene oxidation. These findings indicate that laccases may have a role in the oxidation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by white rut fungi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4563-4567
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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