Interactions between ionic liquids and biomolecules are of great interest due to the intrinsic properties of ionic liquids and the flexibility allowed by mixing and matching cations and anions to create unique ionic liquids. A number of ionic liquid–biomolecule studies have focused on interactions with proteins, including industrially relevant enzymes. One of these, laccase from Trametes versicolor, is a naturally derived enzyme used in the breakdown of phenolic compounds in a wide variety of industries, especially useful in breakdown of lignocellulosic materials. Here, a combination of experiments and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations was used to investigate the interactions of ionic liquids with laccase. Enzyme kinetics assays indicated that ionic liquids composed of tetramethylguanidine (TMG) and either serine or threonine caused significant reduction in enzymatic activity, while kinetics was not impacted by TMG-Asp or TMG-Glu ionic liquids. Similarly, intrinsic fluorescence of laccase in the presence of TMG-Ser and TMG-Thr exhibited a shift in spectral properties consistent with structural destabilization, but again TMG-Asp and TMG-Glu had no impact. MD simulations of laccase and ABTS with/without TMG-Ser ionic liquid provided insight into the deactivation mechanism of laccase. The simulations indicated that TMG-Ser disrupts laccase’s electron transfer mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)