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Gene. 1993 Mar 15;125(1):25-33.

Evolutionary divergence of pobA, the structural gene encoding p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase in an Acinetobacter calcoaceticus strain well-suited for genetic analysis.

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Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511.


The pobA gene encoding p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PobA) from Acinetobacter calcoaceticus has been developed as a genetic tool for the analysis of structure-function relationships in this enzyme. By exploiting the favorable genetic system of A. calcoaceticus strain ADP1, it is possible both to select and to map mutations which disturb PobA activity; characterization and sequence determination of mutants derived in this manner may complement site-directed studies with the homologous Pseudomonas aeruginosa gene. We have determined the nucleotide (nt) sequence of A. calcoaceticus pobA and performed a systematic comparison of the deduced amino acid (aa) sequence with that of the PobA enzyme from Pseudomonas fluorescens, for which the three-dimensional structure is known. Despite a 26% difference in the G+C content of the homologous genes, constraints against structural divergence of the proteins were revealed by an overall identity of 62.4% in the aligned aa sequences of PobA. Clusters of identical sequence occur at previously identified sites of ligand binding and at regions associated with subunit-subunit interaction. Based on the conservation of specific residues involved in flavin binding, we have assembled a consensus sequence for nicotinamide-flavoprotein monooxygenases which differs from that of the oxidoreductase class of flavoproteins. In addition to the conserved regions shared by the two PobA homologs, there are isolated pockets of divergence. The nt sequence divergence in one such region within the A. calcoaceticus gene can be attributed to the acquisition of short nt sequence repetitions.

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