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Gene. 1994 Jan 28;138(1-2):27-33.

Construction of hybrid biphenyl (bph) and toluene (tod) genes for functional analysis of aromatic ring dioxygenases.

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Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Multicomponent enzyme complexes of biphenyl (BP) dioxygenase (Dox) encoded by the gene cluster, bphA1A2A3A4 in Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes strain KF707 [Taira et al., J. Biol. Chem. 267 (1992) 4844-4858] and toluene Dox encoded by the gene cluster, todC1C2BA in P. putida strain F1 [Zylstra et al., J. Biol. Chem. 264 (1989) 14940-14946], show high homologies (approx. 60%) for the corresponding subunit component in spite of the fact that they have discrete substrate specificities. We constructed hybrid gene clusters by replacing the gene component(s) between the large and small subunits of terminal Dox in the bph and tod gene clusters, and analyzed the function of a novel hybrid aromatic ring Dox. Escherichia coli cells expressing the hybrid gene clusters, todC1::bphA2A3A4, todC1C2::bphA3A4 and bphA1::todC2::bphA3A4, gained the ability to convert benzene-toluene and their derivatives to the dihydrodiols, indicating that the hybrid terminal Dox composed of TodC1::BphA2 and BphA1::TodC2 forms a functionally active multicomponent Dox associated with ferredoxin (Fer) (BphA3) and Fer reductase (BphA4). Moreover, hybrid Dox (composed of TodC1::BphA2A3A4 and TodC1C2::BphA3A4) showed a wide substrate specificity rather similar to that of the wild-type toluene Dox (TodC1C2BA). On the other hand, the hybrid Dox (BphA1::TodC2::BphA3A4) showed oxidative activities for the same compounds, but the rate of oxidation was dependent upon the substrate. These results suggest that (i) the two subunits of terminal Dox are critically involved in the substrate specificity for BP, benzene and their derivatives, and (ii) the electron transport proteins, Fer and Fer reductase, are exchangeable with one another between the BP Dox and toluene Dox complexes.

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