Antimicrobial properties of L-amino acid oxidase: biochemical features and biomedical applications

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2021 Jun;105(12):4819-4832. doi: 10.1007/s00253-021-11381-0. Epub 2021 Jun 9.


Mucus layer that covers the body surface of various animal functions as a defense barrier against microbes, environmental xenobiotics, and predators. Previous studies have reported that L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO), present in several animal fluids, has potent properties against pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and parasites. LAAO catalyzes the oxidative deamination of specific L-amino acids with the generation of hydrogen peroxide and L-amino acid metabolites. Further, the generated hydrogen peroxide is involved in oxidation (direct effect) while the metabolites activate immune responses (indirect effect). Therefore, LAAO exhibits two different mechanisms of bioactivation. Previously, we described the selective, specific, and local oxidative and potent antibacterial actions of various LAAOs as potential therapeutic strategies. In this review, we focus on their biochemical features, enzymatic regulations, and biomedical applications with a view of describing their probable role as biochemical agents and biomarkers for microbial infections, cancer, and autoimmune-mediated diseases. We consider that LAAOs hold implications in biomedicine owing to their antimicrobial activity wherein they can be used in treatment of infectious diseases and as diagnostic biomarkers in the above-mentioned diseased conditions. KEY POINTS: •Focus on biochemical features, enzymatic regulation, and biomedical applications of LAAOs. •Mechanisms of antimicrobial activity, inflammatory regulation, and immune responses of LAAOs. •Potential biomedical application as an antimicrobial and anti-infection agent, and disease biomarker.

Keywords: Antimicrobial protein; Biomarker; Hydrogen peroxide; Interleukin (IL)-4-induced gene 1; L-amino acid oxidase; Metabolites.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents*
  • Bacteria
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • L-Amino Acid Oxidase*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • L-Amino Acid Oxidase