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Int J Tryptophan Res. 2011;4:1-6. doi: 10.4137/IJTR.S6457. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

Tryptophan oxidative metabolism catalyzed by geobacillus stearothermophilus: a thermophile isolated from kuwait soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, Safat, 13060, Kuwait.


Tryptophan metabolism has been extensively studied in humans as well as in soil. Its metabolism takes place mainly through kynurenine pathway yielding hydroxylated, deaminated and many other products of physiological significance. However, tryptophan metabolism has not been studied in an isolated thermophilic bacterium. Geobacillus stearothermophilus is a local thermophile isolated from Kuwait desert soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. The bacterium grows well at 65 °C in 0.05 M phosphate buffer (pH 7), when supplied with organic compounds as a carbon source and has a good potential for transformation of steroids and related molecules. In the present study, we used tryptophan ethyl ester as a carbon source for the bacterium to study the catabolism of the amino acid at pH 5 and pH 7. In this endeavor, we have resolved twenty one transformation products of tryptophan by GC/LC and have identified them through their mass spectral fragmentation.


GC/MS; Geobacillus stearothermophilus; kynurenine pathway; metabolites; tryptophan

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