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J Bacteriol. 1993 Mar;175(6):1831-7.

Cloning and characterization of Pseudomonas sp. strain DNT genes for 2,4-dinitrotoluene degradation.

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Air Force Civil Engineering Support Agency, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida 32403-6001.


The degradation of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT) by Pseudomonas sp. strain DNT is initiated by a dioxygenase attack to yield 4-methyl-5-nitrocatechol (MNC) and nitrite. Subsequent oxidation of MNC by a monooxygenase results in the removal of the second molecule of nitrite, and further enzymatic reactions lead to ring fission. Initial studies on the molecular basis of DNT degradation in this strain revealed the presence of three plasmids. Mitomycin-derived mutants deficient in either DNT dioxygenase only or DNT dioxygenase and MNC monooxygenase were isolated. Plasmid profiles of mutant strains suggested that the mutations resulted from deletions in the largest plasmid. Total plasmid DNA partially digested by EcoRI was cloned into a broad-host-range cosmid vector, pCP13. Recombinant clones containing genes encoding DNT dioxygenase, MNC monooxygenase, and 2,4,5-trihydroxytoluene oxygenase were characterized by identification of reaction products and the ability to complement mutants. Subcloning analysis suggests that the DNT dioxygenase is a multicomponent enzyme system and that the genes for the DNT pathway are organized in at least three different operons.

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