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Anaerobic degradation of p-ethylphenol by "Aromatoleum aromaticum" strain EbN1: Pathway, regulation, and involved proteins

MPS-Authors
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Woehlbrand,  L.
Department of Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Wilkes,  H.
Department of Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Rabus,  R.
Department of Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Woehlbrand, L., Wilkes, H., Halder, T., & Rabus, R. (2008). Anaerobic degradation of p-ethylphenol by "Aromatoleum aromaticum" strain EbN1: Pathway, regulation, and involved proteins. Journal of Bacteriology, 190(16), 5699-5709.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-CD46-A
Abstract
The denitrifying “Aromatoleum aromaticum” strain EbN1 was demonstrated to utilize p-ethylphenol under anoxic conditions and was suggested to employ a degradation pathway which is reminiscent of known anaerobic ethylbenzene degradation in the same bacterium: initial hydroxylation of p-ethylphenol to 1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-ethanol followed by dehydrogenation to p-hydroxyacetophenone. Possibly, subsequent carboxylation and thiolytic cleavage yield p-hydroxybenzoyl-coenzyme A (CoA), which is channeled into the central benzoyl-CoA pathway. Substrate-specific formation of three of the four proposed intermediates was confirmed by gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis and also by applying deuterated p-ethylphenol. Proteins suggested to be involved in this degradation pathway are encoded in a single large operon-like structure (∼15 kb). Among them are a p-cresol methylhydroxylase-like protein (PchCF), two predicted alcohol dehydrogenases (ChnA and EbA309), a biotin-dependent carboxylase (XccABC), and a thiolase (TioL). Proteomic analysis (two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis) revealed their specific and coordinated upregulation in cells adapted to anaerobic growth with p-ethylphenol and p-hydroxyacetophenone (e.g., PchF up to 29-fold). Coregulated proteins of currently unknown function (e.g., EbA329) are possibly involved in p-ethylphenol- and p-hydroxyacetophenone-specific solvent stress responses and related to other aromatic solvent-induced proteins of strain EbN1.