Characterization, Molecular Cloning, and Differential Expression Analysis of Laccase Genes from the Edible Mushroom Lentinula edodes


American Society for Microbiology


The effect of different substrates and various developmental stages (mycelium growth, primordium appearance, and fruiting-body formation) on laccase production in the edible mushroom Lentinula edodes was studied. The cap of the mature mushroom showed the highest laccase activity, and laccase activity was not stimulated by some well-known laccase inducers or sawdust. For our molecular studies, two genomic DNA sequences, representing allelic variants of the L. edodes lac1 gene, were isolated, and DNA sequence analysis demonstrated that lac1 encodes a putative polypeptide of 526 amino acids which is interrupted by 13 introns. The two allelic genes differ at 95 nucleotides, which results in seven amino acid differences in the encoded protein. The copper-binding domains found in other laccase enzymes are conserved in the L. edodes Lac1 proteins. A fragment of a second laccase gene (lac2) was also isolated, and competitive PCR showed that expression of lac1 and lac2 genes was different under various conditions. Our results suggest that laccases may play a role in the morphogenesis of the mushroom. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the cloning of genes involved in lignocellulose degradation in this economically important edible fungus.

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