A crystallographic and spectroscopic study on the effect of X-ray radiation on the crystal structure of Melanocarpus albomyces laccase

Nina Hakulinen (Corresponding Author), Kristiina Kruus, Anu Koivula, Juha Rouvinen (Corresponding Author)

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    49 Citations (Scopus)


    Laccases (p-diphenol dioxygen oxidoreductases) belong to the family of blue multicopper oxidases, which catalyse the four-electron reduction of dioxygen to water concomitantly through the oxidation of substrate molecules. Blue multicopper oxidases have four coppers, a copper (T1) forming a mononuclear site and a cluster of three coppers (T2, T3, and T3′) forming a trinuclear site. Because X-rays are known to liberate electrons during data collection and may thus affect the oxidation state of metals, we have investigated the effect of X-ray radiation upon the crystal structure of a recombinant laccase from Melanocarpus albomyces through the use of crystallography and crystal absorption spectroscopy. Two data sets with different strategies, a low and a high-dose data set, were collected at synchrotron. We have observed earlier that the trinuclear site had an elongated electron density amidst coppers, suggesting dioxygen binding. The low-dose synchrotron structure showed similar elongated electron density, but the high-dose X-ray radiation removed the bulk of this density. Therefore, X-ray radiation could alter the active site of laccase from M. albomyces. Absorption spectra of the crystals (320, 420, and 590 nm) during X-ray radiation were measured at a home laboratory. Spectra clearly showed how that the band at 590 nm had vanished, resulting from the T1 copper being reduced, during the long X-ray measurements. The crystal colour changed from blue to colourless. Absorptions at 320 and 420 nm seemed to be rather permanent. The absorption at 320 nm is due to the T3 coppers and it is proposed that absorption at 420 nm is due to the T2 copper when dioxygen or a reaction intermediate is close to this copper.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)929-934
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Laccase
    • Multicopper oxidase
    • X-ray induced changes
    • Crystal absorption spectroscopy


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