Extending the application fields of biocombinatoric reactions mediated by Laccases


Using biotransformation to improve the characteristics of pharmacological substances


The aim of the project is to answer open questions in the research for bioactive substances. Only a fraction of the numerous available substances are being applied in clinical practice. A large amount of substances cannot be used because of undesired characteristics: strong side effects, insufficient pharmacological activity or increasing resistance of the pathogens.
One solution can be the modification of known active substances to minimize unwanted characteristics. For that purpose we want to introduce the enzyme Laccase as a new catalytic protein which can mediate the linkage of two different substances.



Fig. 1 Wood-rotting fungi are sources of Laccases – e.g. Pycnoporus cinnabarinus


This procedure can be useful for pharmacological research. Thus an antibiotic, which has become inactive in the human body because of resistant pathogens, could be modified by using the enzyme laccase. The new substance would again be active against the previously resistant organisms.



Fig. 2 Coupling of an bioactive compound A with compound B by laccase to produce a derivative with new characteristics


The project intends to demonstrate further possibilities of applications of this inexpensive and save procedure. At first the range of convertible chemical structures will be investigated to transfer this knowledge to different groups of active substances later on.
The objective is to apply the demonstrated technology in the production of new pharmacological substances, which can be used against diseases like bacterial, viral or fungal infections that can not be cured as well as against cancer.