skip to main content

Title: Experimental–theoretical study of laccase as a detoxifier of aflatoxins

We investigate laccase-mediated detoxification of aflatoxins, fungal carcinogenic food contaminants. Our experimental comparison between two aflatoxins with similar structures (AFB1and AFG2) shows significant differences in laccase-mediated detoxification. A multi-scale modeling approach (Docking, Molecular Dynamics, and Density Functional Theory) identifies the highly substrate-specific changes required to improve laccase detoxifying performance. We employ a large-scale density functional theory-based approach, involving more than 7000 atoms, to identify the amino acid residues that determine the affinity of laccase for aflatoxins. From this study we conclude: (1) AFB1is more challenging to degrade, to the point of complete degradation stalling; (2) AFG2is easier to degrade by laccase due to its lack of side products and favorable binding dynamics; and (3) ample opportunities to optimize laccase for aflatoxin degradation exist, especially via mutations leading to π–π stacking. This study identifies a way to optimize laccase for aflatoxin bioremediation and, more generally, contributes to the research efforts aimed at rational enzyme optimization.

; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been used in numerous paintings since its creation in the early 1920s. However, due to this relatively recent adoption by the art world, we have limited knowledge about the nature and risk of degradation in museum environments. This study expands on the existing understanding of TiO2facilitated degradation of linseed oil, by examining the effect of visible light and crystallographic phase (either anatase or rutile) on the reactivity of TiO2. The present approach is based on a combination of experimental chemical characterization with computational calculation through Density Functional Theory (DFT) modeling of the TiO2-oil system. Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FT-IR) enabled the identification of characteristic degradation products during UV and visible light aging of both rutile and anatase based paints in comparison to BaSO4and linseed oil controls. In addition, cratering and cracking of the paint surface in TiO2based paints, aged under visible and UV–vis illumination, were observed through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Finally, Density Functional Theory (DFT) modeling of interactions between anatase TiO2and oleic acid, a fatty acid component of linseed oil, to form a charge transfer complex explains one possible mechanism for the visible light activity observed in artificial aging. Visible lightmore »excitation of this complex sensitizes TiO2by injecting an electron into the conduction band of TiO2to generate reactive oxygen species and subsequent degradation of the oil binder by various mechanisms (e.g., formation of an oleic acid cation radical and other oxidation products).

    Graphical Abstract

    « less
  2. Abstract

    Almost 75 years of research has been devoted to producing superalloys capable of higher operating temperatures in jet turbine engines, and there is an ongoing need to increase operating temperature further. Here, a new disk Nickel-base superalloy is designed to take advantage of strengthening atomic-scale dynamic complexions. This local phase transformation strengthening provides the alloy with a three times improvement in creep strength over similar disk superalloys and comparable strength to a single crystal blade alloy at 760 °C. Ultra-high-resolution chemical mapping reveals that the improvement in creep strength is a result of atomic-scale η (D024) and χ (D019) formation along superlattice stacking faults. To understand these results, the energy differences between the L12and competing D024and D019stacking fault structures and their dependence on composition are computed by density functional theory. This study can help guide researchers to further optimize local phase transformation strengthening mechanisms for alloy development.

  3. Abstract

    Methods to probe and understand the dynamic response of materials following impulsive excitation are important for many fields, from materials and energy sciences to chemical and neuroscience. To design more efficient nano, energy, and quantum devices, new methods are needed to uncover the dominant excitations and reaction pathways. In this work, we implement a newly-developed superlet transform—a super-resolution time-frequency analytical method—to analyze and extract phonon dynamics in a laser-excited two-dimensional (2D) quantum material. This quasi-2D system, 1T-TaSe2, supports both equilibrium and metastable light-induced charge density wave (CDW) phases mediated by strongly coupled phonons. We compare the effectiveness of the superlet transform to standard time-frequency techniques. We find that the superlet transform is superior in both time and frequency resolution, and use it to observe and validate novel physics. In particular, we show fluence-dependent changes in the coupled dynamics of three phonon modes that are similar in frequency, including the CDW amplitude mode, that clearly demonstrate a change in the dominant charge-phonon couplings. More interestingly, the frequencies of the three phonon modes, including the strongly-coupled CDW amplitude mode, remain time- and fluence-independent, which is unusual compared to previously investigated materials. Our study opens a new avenue for capturing the coherentmore »evolution and couplings of strongly-coupled materials and quantum systems.

    « less
  4. Abstract

    The disproportionation of H2O into solar fuels H2and O2, or water splitting, is a promising strategy for clean energy harvesting and storage but requires the concerted action of absorption of photons, separation of excitons, charge diffusion to catalytic sites and catalysis of redox processes. It is increasingly evident that the rational design of photocatalysts for efficient water splitting must employ hybrid systems, where the different components perform light harvesting, charge separation and catalysis in tandem. In this topical review, we report on the recent development of a new class of hybrid photocatalysts that employs MxV2O5(M = p-block cation) nanowires in order to engineer efficient charge transfer from the photoactive chalcogenide quantum dots (QDs) to the water-splitting and hydrogen evolving catalysts. Herein, we summarize the oxygen-mediated lone pair mechanism used to modulate the energy level and orbital character of mid-gap states in the MxV2O5nanowires. The electronic structure of MxV2O5is discussed in terms of density functional theory and hard x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES) measurements. The principles of HAXPES are explained within the context of its unique sensitivity to metal 5(6)s orbitals and ability to non-destructively study buried interface alignments of quantum dot decorated nanowires i.e., MxV2O5/CdX (X = S, Se, Te).more »We illustrate with examples how the MxV2O5/CdX band alignments can be rationally engineered for ultra-fast charge-transfer of photogenerated holes from the quantum dot to the nanowires; thereby suppressing anodic photo-corrosion in the CdX QDs and enabling efficacious hydrogen evolution.

    « less
  5. Abstract

    Electrochemical two-electron water oxidation reaction (2e-WOR) has drawn significant attention as a promising process to achieve the continuous on-site production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). However, compared to the cathodic H2O2generation, the anodic 2e-WOR is more challenging to establish catalysts due to the severe oxidizing environment. In this study, we combine density functional theory (DFT) calculations with experiments to discover a stable and efficient perovskite catalyst for the anodic 2e-WOR. Our theoretical screening efforts identify LaAlO3perovskite as a stable, active, and selective candidate for catalyzing 2e-WOR. Our experimental results verify that LaAlO3achieves an overpotential of 510 mV at 10 mA cm−2in 4 M K2CO3/KHCO3, lower than those of many reported metal oxide catalysts. In addition, LaAlO3maintains a stable H2O2Faradaic efficiency with only a 3% decrease after 3 h at 2.7 V vs. RHE. This computation-experiment synergistic approach introduces another effective direction to discover promising catalysts for the harsh anodic 2e-WOR towards H2O2.