Molecular and biochemical characterization of two meta-cleavage dioxygenases involved in biphenyl and m-xylene degradation by Beijerinckia sp. strain B1

E. Kim, G. J. Zylstra

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Beijerinckia sp. strain B1 is able to grow on either biphenyl or m-xylene as the sole source of carbon and is capable of cooxidizing many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The catabolic pathways for biphenyl and m-xylene degradation are coinduced and share common downstream enzymatic reactions. The catabolic pathway for biphenyl degradation involves two meta-cleavage steps, one for 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl and a second for catechol. The catabolic pathway for m-xylene involves one m-cleavage step for 3-methylcatechol. The genes for two meta-cleavage dioxygenases were cloned from Beijerinckia sp. strain B1 on a single fragment of genomic DNA. The two genes are located approximately 5.5 kb away from one another. Expression of each gene separately in Escherichia coli and analysis of the meta-cleavage dioxygenase produced showed that one enzyme was more specific for 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl while the second was more specific for catechol. The genes for the two meta- cleavage enzymes were thus labeled bphC and xylE for 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl 1,2-dioxygenase and catechol 2,3-dioxygenase, respectively. Nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by enzyme activity staining showed that the two meta-cleavage dioxygenases could be easily separated from each other. Similar analyses of Beijerinckia sp. strain B1 grown on succinate, biphenyl, or m-xylene indicate that both meta-cleavage enzymes are induced when cells are grown on either biphenyl or m-xylene. The nucleotide sequence was determined for both bphC and xylE. The two genes are transcribed in opposite directions, demonstrating that at least two operons must be involved in biphenyl degradation by Beijerinckia sp. strain B1. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence indicates that 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl 1,2- dioxygenase (BphC) falls into the class of meta-cleavage dioxygenases acting on dihydroxylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and is somewhat distinct from the main group of meta-cleavage dioxygenases acting on 2,3- dihydroxybiphenyl. Catechol 2,3-dioxygenase (XylE) falls into the class of meta-cleavage enzymes acting on dihydroxylated monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons but shows little similarity to the canonical TOL plasmid- encoded catechol 2,3-dioxygenase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3095-3103
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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