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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 Feb;93(3):1315-24. doi: 10.1007/s00253-011-3451-8. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

An unexpected gene cluster for downstream degradation of alkylphenols in Sphingomonas sp. strain TTNP3.

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  • 1Institute for Ecopreneurship, School of Life Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Muttenz, Switzerland.


In silico analysis of nucleotide sequences flanking the recently found hydroquinone dioxygenase in Sphingomonas sp. strain TTNP3 revealed a gene cluster that encodes a hydroquinone catabolic pathway. In addition to the two open-reading frames encoding the recently characterized hydroquinone dioxygenase, the cluster consisted of six open-reading frames. We were able to express the three open-reading frames, hqdC, hqdD, and hqdE, and demonstrated that the three gene products, HqdC, HqdD, and HqdE had 4-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde dehydrogenase, maleylacetate reductase, and intradiol dioxygenase activity, respectively. Surprisingly, the gene cluster showed similarities to functionally related clusters found in members of the β- and γ-proteobacteria rather than to those found in other members of the genus Sphingomonas sensu latu.

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