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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 614038, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/614038
Research Article

Fungal Laccases Degradation of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds

Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Complesso Universitario Monte S. Angelo, Via Cinthia 4, 80126 Naples, Italy

Received 13 January 2014; Revised 12 March 2014; Accepted 31 March 2014; Published 15 April 2014

Academic Editor: Sofiane Ghorbel

Copyright © 2014 Gemma Macellaro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Over the past decades, water pollution by trace organic compounds (ng/L) has become one of the key environmental issues in developed countries. This is the case of the emerging contaminants called endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). EDCs are a new class of environmental pollutants able to mimic or antagonize the effects of endogenous hormones, and are recently drawing scientific and public attention. Their widespread presence in the environment solicits the need of their removal from the contaminated sites. One promising approach to face this challenge consists in the use of enzymatic systems able to react with these molecules. Among the possible enzymes, oxidative enzymes are attracting increasing attention because of their versatility, the possibility to produce them on large scale, and to modify their properties. In this study five different EDCs were treated with four different fungal laccases, also in the presence of both synthetic and natural mediators. Mediators significantly increased the efficiency of the enzymatic treatment, promoting the degradation of substrates recalcitrant to laccase oxidation. The laccase showing the best performances was chosen to further investigate its oxidative capabilities against micropollutant mixtures. Improvement of enzyme performances in nonylphenol degradation rate was achieved through immobilization on glass beads.