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J Bacteriol. 2005 Dec;187(23):7996-8005.

Growth substrate- and phase-specific expression of biphenyl, benzoate, and C1 metabolic pathways in Burkholderia xenovorans LB400.

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  • 1Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 48824, USA.


Recent microarray experiments suggested that Burkholderia xenovorans LB400, a potent polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-degrading bacterium, utilizes up to three apparently redundant benzoate pathways and a C(1) metabolic pathway during biphenyl and benzoate metabolism. To better characterize the roles of these pathways, we performed quantitative proteome profiling of cells grown on succinate, benzoate, or biphenyl and harvested during either mid-logarithmic growth or the transition between the logarithmic and stationary growth phases. The Bph enzymes, catabolizing biphenyl, were approximately 16-fold more abundant in biphenyl- versus succinate-grown cells. Moreover, the upper and lower bph pathways were independently regulated. Expression of each benzoate pathway depended on growth substrate and phase. Proteins specifying catabolism via benzoate dihydroxylation and catechol ortho-cleavage (ben-cat pathway) were approximately an order of magnitude more abundant in benzoate- versus biphenyl-grown cells at the same growth phase. The chromosomal copy of the benzoyl-coenzyme A (CoA) (box(C)) pathway was also expressed during growth on biphenyl: Box(C) proteins were approximately twice as abundant as Ben and Cat proteins under these conditions. By contrast, proteins of the megaplasmid copy of the benzoyl-CoA (box(M)) pathway were only detected in transition-phase benzoate-grown cells. Other proteins detected at increased levels in benzoate- and biphenyl-grown cells included general stress response proteins potentially induced by reactive oxygen species formed during aerobic aromatic catabolism. Finally, C(1) metabolic enzymes were present in biphenyl-grown cells during transition phase. This study provides insights into the physiological roles and integration of apparently redundant catabolic pathways in large-genome bacteria and establishes a basis for investigating the PCB-degrading abilities of this strain.

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