Fennel seeds were recognized as a promising polyphenol oxidase (PPO) source upon investigating some edible green plants (carob, jujube, coriander, fennel, and licorice). The fennel PPO enzyme was purified by three-phase partitioning and biochemically characterized in detail for the first time. The purification fold and activity recovery values were determined as 20-fold and 120%, respectively. Its molecular weight was 27.8 kDa. The temperature for the selected substrates (catechol, 4-tert-butylcatechol, 4-methylcatechol, and pyrogallol) was 30 °C, while the optimum pH value varied from 5.0 to 7.0 depending on the substrate. The kcat/Km values exhibited that the enzyme presented the best activity towards catechol among the substrates used. Sodium metabisulfite, ascorbic acid, benzoic acid, l-cysteine, thiourea, β-mercaptoethanol, and glutathione prominently inhibited PPO activity. A remarkable decrease in PPO activity was observed at elevated concentrations of organic solvents, but in cases of the solvents with polarity indexes ≥5.1, the residual activity maintained more than 75% of its original activity up to 10% (v/v). Consequently, the current study suggested that fennel seeds could be used in various industrial sectors to produce low-cost polyphenol oxidase enzymes with an agricultural origin.
Keywords: Enzyme characterization; Enzyme inhibition; Enzyme purification; Fennel seeds; Organic solvents; Polyphenol oxidase.
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