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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Use and improvement of microbial redox enzymes for environmental purposes

Humberto Garcia-Arellano, Miguel Alcalde and Antonio Ballesteros*

Author Affiliations

Departamento de Biocatálisis, Instituto de Catálisis, CSIC, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain

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Microbial Cell Factories 2004, 3:10  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-3-10

Published: 2 August 2004

Abstract

Industrial development may result in the increase of environmental risks. The enzymatic transformation of polluting compounds to less toxic or even innocuous products is an alternative to their complete removal. In this regard, a number of different redox enzymes are able to transform a wide variety of toxic pollutants, such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, azo dyes, heavy metals, etc. Here, novel information on chromate reductases, enzymes that carry out the reduction of highly toxic Cr(VI) to the less toxic insoluble Cr(III), is discussed. In addition, the properties and application of bacterial and eukaryotic proteins (lignin-modifying enzymes, peroxidases and cytochromes) useful in environmental enzymology is also discussed.