Constitutive expression of the cytochrome P450 EthABCD monooxygenase system enables degradation of synthetic dialkyl ethers in Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108
Authors: Schuster, J; Purswani, J; Breuer, U; Pozo, C; Harms, H; Müller, RH; Rohwerder, T
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 79:2321-2327.
HERO ID: 2321097
In Rhodococcus ruber IFP 2001, Rhodococcus zopfii IFP 2005, and Gordonia sp. strain IFP 2009, the cytochrome . . .
In Rhodococcus ruber IFP 2001, Rhodococcus zopfii IFP 2005, and Gordonia sp. strain IFP 2009, the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase EthABCD catalyzes hydroxylation of methoxy and ethoxy residues in the fuel oxygenates methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE), and tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME). The expression of the IS3-type transposase-flanked eth genes is ETBE dependent and controlled by the regulator EthR (C. Malandain et al., FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 72:289-296, 2010). In contrast, we demonstrated by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) that the betaproteobacterium Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108, which possesses the ethABCD genes but lacks ethR, constitutively expresses the P450 system at high levels even when growing on nonether substrates, such as glucose. The mutant strain A. tertiaricarbonis L10, which is unable to degrade dialkyl ethers, resulted from a transposition event mediated by a rolling-circle IS91-type element flanking the eth gene cluster in the wild-type strain L108. The constitutive expression of Eth monooxygenase is likely initiated by the housekeeping sigma factor σ(70), as indicated by the presence in strain L108 of characteristic -10 and -35 binding sites upstream of ethA which are lacking in strain IFP 2001. This enables efficient degradation of diethyl ether, diisopropyl ether, MTBE, ETBE, TAME, and tert-amyl ethyl ether (TAEE) without any lag phase in strain L108. However, ethers with larger residues, n-hexyl methyl ether, tetrahydrofuran, and alkyl aryl ethers, were not attacked by the Eth system at significant rates in resting-cell experiments, indicating that the residue in the ether molecule which is not hydroxylated also contributes to the determination of substrate specificity.