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Emerging contaminants of high concern and their enzyme-assisted biodegradation – A review

Bilal, Muhammad, Adeel, Muhammad, Rasheed, Tahir, Zhao, Yuping, Iqbal, Hafiz M.N.
Environment international 2019 v.124 pp. 336-353
aquatic environment, bioactive compounds, biocatalysis, biodegradation, biotransformation, burning, cosmetics, ecosystems, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, flame retardants, laccase, lignin, oxygenases, people, peroxidase, pollutants, pollution, prediction, socioeconomics, surface water
The widespread occurrence and adverse environmental and health-related impacts of various types of emerging contaminants (ECs) have become an issue of high concern. With ever increasing scientific knowledge, socio-economic awareness, health-related problems and ecological apprehensions, people are more concerned about the widespread ECs, around the globe. Among ECs, biologically active compounds from pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, biomedical, personal care products (PPCPs), endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), and flame-retardants are of paramount concern. The presence and persistence of ECs in water bodies are of continued and burning interest, worldwide. Various types of ECs are being discharged knowingly/unknowingly with/without partial treatments into the aquatic environments that pose serious health issues and affects the entire living ecosystem. So far, various approaches have been developed for ECs degradation and removal to diminish their adverse impact. Many previous and/or ongoing studies have focused on contaminants degradation and efficient removal via numerous treatment strategies, i.e. (1) physical, (2) chemical and (3) biological. However, the experimental evidence is lacking to enable specific predictions about ECs mechanistic degradation and removal fate across various in-practice systems. In this context, the deployment oxidoreductases such as peroxidases (lignin peroxidases, manganese-dependent peroxidases, and horseradish peroxidase), aromatic dioxygenases, various oxygenases, laccases, and tyrosinases have received considerable research attention. Immobilization is highlighted as a promising approach to improve enzyme catalytic performance and stabilization, as well as, to protect the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme against the undesirable consequences of harsh reaction environment. This work overviews the current and state-of-the-art critical aspect related to hazardous pollutants at large and ECs in particular by the immobilized oxidoreductase enzymes. The first part of the review focuses on the occurrence, physiochemical behavior, potent sources and significant routes of ECs. Following that, environmentally-related adverse impacts and health-related issues of ECs are discussed in the second part. In the third part, biodegradation and removal strategies with a comparative overview of several conventional vs. non-conventional methods are presented briefly. The fourth part majorly focuses on operational modes of different oxidoreductase enzyme-based biocatalytic processes for the biodegradation and biotransformation of a wide array of harmful environmental contaminants. Finally, the left behind research gaps, concluding remarks as well as future trends and recommendations in the use of carrier-immobilized oxidoreductases for environmental perspective are also discussed.