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SCAN: Structure-Function studies in recombinant CotA-laccase from B. subtilis

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Paulo Durão, Microbial & Enzyme Technology Lab.

When 03 Sep, 2008 from
12:00 pm to 01:00 pm
Where Auditorium ITQBII
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In view of increasing environmental and economic pressure to use renewable sources of energy and chemical feedstocks in industry, biocatalysts look like attractive technological tools. Laccases are multicopper oxidases capable of coupling the oxidation of a variety of substrates, polyphenols, metoxy-substituted phenols, diamines and even some inorganic compounds, to the reduction of molecular oxygen to water. Owing to their high relative non-specific oxidation capacity, laccases have been found to be useful for diverse biotechnological applications in particular in the processing of plant polymers (cellulose, lignin) for added-value products. Their importance showed a marked increased after the discovery that the oxidising reaction substrate range could be further extended in the presence of the so called mediators, small readily oxidisable molecules by a mechanism that remain still quite unclear. Our work is focused primarily on research involving the bacterial CotA-laccase from Bacillus subtilis as a model bacterial laccase and a tool for biotechnology. Our strategy is based in applying site-directed mutagenesis on a recombinant CotA-laccase overproduced by E. coli and perform a multidisciplinary study through biochemical and kinetic characterization of CotA-laccase mutants to further understand the mode of action of these enzymes and to gain knowledge for their engineering and production of novel enzymes that better fit biotechnological applications. Some of these mutants and studies performed will be presented.



- Completed the degree in Biotechnology Engineering at Universidade Lusófona in the academic year of 2001/2002.

- Developed the final trainee at the Center of Biological and Chemical Engeneering (CEBQ) at Instituto Superior Técnico, under supervision of Prof.ª Isabel Sá-Correia.

- In 2004 won an international grant ICEP/Fulbright to perform an internship at Pfizer Global Research and Development laboratories in San Diego, California.

- In 2005 joined Profª Lígia Martins lab at ITQB, first with a BI grant, then as a PhD student in the field of function-structure since January 2006 until the present moment.



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