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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Dec;78(24):8531-9. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02062-12. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

Ethylene glycol metabolism by Pseudomonas putida.

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  • 1Institute of Technical Biochemistry, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.


In this study, we investigated the metabolism of ethylene glycol in the Pseudomonas putida strains KT2440 and JM37 by employing growth and bioconversion experiments, directed mutagenesis, and proteome analysis. We found that strain JM37 grew rapidly with ethylene glycol as a sole source of carbon and energy, while strain KT2440 did not grow within 2 days of incubation under the same conditions. However, bioconversion experiments revealed metabolism of ethylene glycol by both strains, with the temporal accumulation of glycolic acid and glyoxylic acid for strain KT2440. This accumulation was further increased by targeted mutagenesis. The key enzymes and specific differences between the two strains were identified by comparative proteomics. In P. putida JM37, tartronate semialdehyde synthase (Gcl), malate synthase (GlcB), and isocitrate lyase (AceA) were found to be induced in the presence of ethylene glycol or glyoxylic acid. Under the same conditions, strain KT2440 showed induction of AceA only. Despite this difference, the two strains were found to use similar periplasmic dehydrogenases for the initial oxidation step of ethylene glycol, namely, the two redundant pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ)-dependent enzymes PedE and PedH. From these results we constructed a new pathway for the metabolism of ethylene glycol in P. putida. Furthermore, we conclude that Pseudomonas putida might serve as a useful platform from which to establish a whole-cell biocatalyst for the production of glyoxylic acid from ethylene glycol.

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