|PDB structures||RCSB PDB PDBe PDBsum|
|Gene Ontology||AmiGO / QuickGO|
Polyphenol oxidase (PPO or monophenol monooxygenase or Polyphenol oxidase I, chloroplastic) is a tetramer that contains four atoms of copper per molecule, and binding sites for two aromatic compounds and oxygen. The enzyme catalyses the o-hydroxylation of monophenol molecules in which the benzene ring contains a single hydroxyl substituent to o-diphenols (phenol molecules containing two hydroxyl substituents). It can also further catalyse the oxidation of o-diphenols to produce o-quinones.
PPO causes the rapid polymerization of o-quinones to produce black, brown or red pigments (polyphenols) that cause fruit browning. The amino acid tyrosine contains a single phenolic ring that may be oxidised by the action of PPOs to form o-quinone. Hence, PPOs may also be referred to as tyrosinases.
Structure and function
PPO is listed as a morpheein, a protein that can form two or more different homo-oligomers (morpheein forms), but must come apart and change shape to convert between forms. It exists as a monomer, trimer, tetramer, octamer or dodecamer, creating multiple functions.
Distribution and applications
A mixture of monophenol oxidase and catechol oxidase enzymes is present in nearly all plant tissues, and can also be found in bacteria, animals, and fungi. In insects, cuticular polyphenol oxidases are present and their products are responsible for desiccation tolerance.
Grape reaction product (2-S glutathionyl caftaric acid) is an oxidation compound produced by action of PPO on caftaric acid and found in wine. This compound production is responsible for the lower level of browning in certain white wines.
There are two types of inhibitor of PPO, those competitive to oxygen in the copper site of the enzyme and those competitive to phenolics. Tentoxin has also been used in recent research to eliminate the PPO activity from seedlings of higher plants. Tropolone is a grape polyphenol oxidase inhibitor. Another inhibitor of this enzyme is potassium pyrosulphite (K2S2O5). Banana root PPO is strongly inhibited by dithiothreitol and sodium metabisulfite.
Potassium dithionite (or potassium hydrosulfite) is also an inhibitor of PPO.
Several assays were developed to monitor the activity of polyphenol oxidases and to evaluate the inhibition potency of polyphenol oxidase inhibitors. In particular, ultraviolet/visible (UV/Vis) spectrophotometry-based assays are widely applied. The most common UV/Vis spectrophotometry assay involves the monitoring of the formation of o-quinones, which are the products of polyphenol oxidase-catalysed reactions, or the consumption of the substrate. Alternative spectrophotometric method that involves the coupling of o-quinones with nucleophilic reagents such as 3-methyl-2-benzothiazolinonehydrazone hydrochloride (MBTH) was also used. Other techniques, such as activity staining assays with the use of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, tritium-based radioactive assays, oxygen consumption assay, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based assay were also reported and used.
Hemocyanin is homologous to the phenol oxidases (e.g. tyrosinase) since both enzymes sharing type copper active site coordination. Hemocyanin also exhibits PPO activity, but with slowed kinetics from greater steric bulk at the active site. Partial denaturation actually improves hemocyanin’s PPO activity by providing greater access to the active site.
Aureusidin synthase is homologous to plant polyphenol oxidase, but contains certain significant modifications.
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