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Annu Rev Microbiol. 1994;48:163-91.

Genetics and biochemistry of dehalogenating enzymes.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Microorganisms that can utilize halogenated compounds as a growth substrate generally produce-enzymes whose function is carbon-halogen bond cleavage. Based on substrate range, reaction type and gene sequences, the dehalogenating enzymes can be classified in different groups, including hydrolytic dehalogenases, glutathione transferases, monooxygenases and hydratases. X-ray crystallographic and biochemical studies have provided detailed mechanistic insight into the action of haloalkane dehalogenase. The essential features are nucleophilic substitution of the halogen by a carboxylate group and the presence of a distinct halogen binding site, formed by tryptophan residues. This review summaries current knowledge on a variety of other dehalogenating enzymes and indicates the existence of a widespread and diverse microbial potential for dechlorination of natural and xenobiotic halogenated compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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