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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Aug;78(15):5238-46. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00781-12. Epub 2012 May 18.

Isolation of a gene responsible for the oxidation of trans-anethole to para-anisaldehyde by Pseudomonas putida JYR-1 and its expression in Escherichia coli.

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School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.


A plasmid, pTA163, in Escherichia coli contained an approximately 34-kb gene fragment from Pseudomonas putida JYR-1 that included the genes responsible for the metabolism of trans-anethole to protocatechuic acid. Three Tn5-disrupted open reading frame 10 (ORF 10) mutants of plasmid pTA163 lost their abilities to catalyze trans-anethole. Heterologously expressed ORF 10 (1,047 nucleotides [nt]) under a T7 promoter in E. coli catalyzed oxidative cleavage of a propenyl group of trans-anethole to an aldehyde group, resulting in the production of para-anisaldehyde, and this gene was designated tao (trans-anethole oxygenase). The deduced amino acid sequence of TAO had the highest identity (34%) to a hypothetical protein of Agrobacterium vitis S4 and likely contained a flavin-binding site. Preferred incorporation of an oxygen molecule from water into p-anisaldehyde using (18)O-labeling experiments indicated stereo preference of TAO for hydrolysis of the epoxide group. Interestingly, unlike the narrow substrate range of isoeugenol monooxygenase from Pseudomonas putida IE27 and Pseudomonas nitroreducens Jin1, TAO from P. putida JYR-1 catalyzed isoeugenol, O-methyl isoeugenol, and isosafrole, all of which contain the 2-propenyl functional group on the aromatic ring structure. Addition of NAD(P)H to the ultrafiltered cell extracts of E. coli (pTA163) increased the activity of TAO. Due to the relaxed substrate range of TAO, it may be utilized for the production of various fragrance compounds from plant phenylpropanoids in the future.

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