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Curr Microbiol. 2013 Oct;67(4):480-6. doi: 10.1007/s00284-013-0387-5. Epub 2013 May 29.

Use of an algD promoter-driven expression system for the degradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) by Pseudomonas sp. HK-6.

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  • 1Divison of Biological Sciences, Kosin University, Busan 606-701, Republic of Korea.


Pseudomonas sp. HK-6 is able to utilize hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) as a sole nitrogen source. The HK-6 strain was stimulated to produce an exopolymer, mainly alginate, as a stress response when grown in LB broth containing RDX, synthesizing ~230 μg/mL after 48 h. The algA mRNA levels in HK-6 increased by 7-8-fold after 2-6 h of exposure to 0.1 mM RDX, as measured by RT-qPCR. HK-6 was able to degrade ~25 % of 0.1 mM RDX after 20 days and 60 % after 50 days, whereas the pnrB null mutant only degraded less than 1 % after 50 days. The introduction of an algD promoter-pnrB gene fusion into the pnrB mutant fully restored RDX-degradation capability. To facilitate a study of PnrB action on RDX, a His6-PnrB fusion protein was heterologously expressed in E. coli BL21 cells, and the enzymatic activity on RDX was assayed by measuring the decrease in absorbance at 340 nm due to NADH oxidation. At the fixed condition of 0.1 mM RDX, 0.2 mM NADH, and 1 μg His6-PnrB, the absorbance at 340 nM gradually decreased and reached to its minimum value after 30 min. However, calculating the V max and K m values of PnrB for RDX was challenging due to extremely low solubility of RDX in water. The results clearly indicate the potential use of the algD promoter in studies of some genes in Pseudomonas species.

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