Identification of enzymes involved in anaerobic benzene degradation by a strictly anaerobic iron-reducing enrichment culture

Nidal Abu Laban, Draženka Selesi, Thomas Rattei, Patrick Tischler, Rainer U. Meckenstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations

Abstract

Anaerobic benzene degradation was studied with a highly enriched iron-reducing culture (BF) composed of mainly Peptococcaceae-related Gram-positive microorganisms. The proteomes of benzene-, phenol- and benzoate-grown cells of culture BF were compared by SDS-PAGE. A specific benzene-expressed protein band of 60 kDa, which could not be observed during growth on phenol or benzoate, was subjected to N-terminal sequence analysis. The first 31 amino acids revealed that the protein was encoded by ORF 138 in the shotgun sequenced metagenome of culture BF. ORF 138 showed 43% sequence identity to phenylphosphate carboxylase subunit PpcA of Aromatoleum aromaticum strain EbN1. A LC/ESI-MS/MS-based shotgun proteomic analysis revealed other specifically benzene-expressed proteins with encoding genes located adjacent to ORF 138 on the metagenome. The protein products of ORF 137, ORF 139 and ORF 140 showed sequence identities of 37% to phenylphosphate carboxylase PpcD of A. aromaticum strain EbN1, 56% to benzoate-CoA ligase (BamY) of Geobacter metallireducens and 67% to 3-octaprenyl-4-hydroxybenzoate carboxy-lyase (UbiD/UbiX) of A. aromaticum strain EbN1 respectively. These genes are proposed as constituents of a putative benzene degradation gene cluster (∼17 kb) composed of carboxylase-related genes. The identified gene sequences suggest that the initial activation reaction in anaerobic benzene degradation is probably a direct carboxylation of benzene to benzoate catalysed by putative anaerobic benzene carboxylase (Abc). The putative Abc probably consists of several subunits, two of which are encoded by ORFs 137 and 138, and belongs to a family of carboxylases including phenylphosphate carboxylase (Ppc) and 3-octaprenyl-4-hydroxybenzoate carboxy-lyase (UbiD/UbiX).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2783-2796
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

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