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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 May;78(10):3649-55. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00006-12. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Key enzymes enabling the growth of Arthrobacter sp. strain JBH1 with nitroglycerin as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.


Flavoprotein reductases that catalyze the transformation of nitroglycerin (NG) to dinitro- or mononitroglycerols enable bacteria containing such enzymes to use NG as the nitrogen source. The inability to use the resulting mononitroglycerols limits most strains to incomplete denitration of NG. Recently, Arthrobacter strain JBH1 was isolated for the ability to grow on NG as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen, but the enzymes and mechanisms involved were not established. Here, the enzymes that enable the Arthrobacter strain to incorporate NG into a productive pathway were identified. Enzyme assays indicated that the transformation of nitroglycerin to mononitroglycerol is NADPH dependent and that the subsequent transformation of mononitroglycerol is ATP dependent. Cloning and heterologous expression revealed that a flavoprotein catalyzes selective denitration of NG to 1-mononitroglycerol (1-MNG) and that 1-MNG is transformed to 1-nitro-3-phosphoglycerol by a glycerol kinase homolog. Phosphorylation of the nitroester intermediate enables the subsequent denitration of 1-MNG in a productive pathway that supports the growth of the isolate and mineralization of NG.

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