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J Biol Chem. 2008 Jul 25;283(30):20713-21. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M802841200. Epub 2008 May 27.

Aromatizing cyclohexa-1,5-diene-1-carbonyl-coenzyme A oxidase. Characterization and its role in anaerobic aromatic metabolism.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Brüderstrasse 34, Leipzig, Germany.


Benzoyl-CoA reductases (BCRs) are key enzymes of anaerobic aromatic metabolism in facultatively anaerobic bacteria. The highly oxygen-sensitive enzymes catalyze the ATP-dependent reductive de-aromatization of the substrate, yielding cyclohexa-1,5-diene-1-carbonyl-CoA (1,5-dienoyl-CoA). In extracts from anaerobically grown denitrifying Thauera aromatica, we detected a benzoate-induced, benzoyl-CoA-forming, 1,5-dienoyl-CoA:acceptor oxidoreductase activity. This activity co-purified with BCR but could be partially separated from it by hydroxyapatite chromatography. After activity staining on native gels, a monomeric protein with a subunit molecular weight of M(r) 76,000 was identified. Mass spectrometric analysis of tryptic digests identified peptides from NADH oxidases/2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductases/"old yellow" enzymes. The UV-visible spectrum of the enriched enzyme suggested the presence of flavin and Fe/S-cofactors, and it was bleached upon the addition of 1,5-dienoyl-CoA. The enzyme had a high affinity for dioxygen as electron acceptor (K(m) = 10 microm) and therefore is referred to as 1,5-dienoyl-CoA oxidase (DCO). The likely product formed from dioxygen reduction was H(2)O. DCO was highly specific for 1,5-dienoyl-CoA (K(m) = 27 microm). The initial rate of DCO followed a Nernst curve with half-maximal activity at +10 mV. We propose that DCO provides protection for the extremely oxygen-sensitive BCR enzyme when the bacterium degrades aromatic compounds at the edge of steep oxygen gradients. The redox-dependent switch in DCO guarantees that DCO is only active during oxidative stress and circumvents futile de-aromatization/re-aromatization reactions catalyzed by BCR and DCO.

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