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J Bacteriol. 1997 Feb;179(3):634-42.

4-hydroxybenzoyl coenzyme A reductase (dehydroxylating) is required for anaerobic degradation of 4-hydroxybenzoate by Rhodopseudomonas palustris and shares features with molybdenum-containing hydroxylases.

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Section of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


The anaerobic degradation of 4-hydroxybenzoate is initiated by the formation of 4-hydroxybenzoyl coenzyme A, with the next step proposed to be a dehydroxylation to benzoyl coenzyme A, the starting compound for a central pathway of aromatic compound ring reduction and cleavage. Three open reading frames, divergently transcribed from the 4-hydroxybenzoate coenzyme A ligase gene, hbaA, were identified and sequenced from the phototrophic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris. These genes, named hbaBCD, specify polypeptides of 17.5, 82.6, and 34.5 kDa, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences show considerable similarities to a group of hydroxylating enzymes involved in CO, xanthine, and nicotine metabolism that have conserved binding sites for [2Fe-2S] clusters and a molybdenum cofactor. Cassette disruption of the hbaB gene yielded a mutant that was unable to grow anaerobically on 4-hydroxybenzoate but grew normally on benzoate. The hbaB mutant cells did not accumulate [14C]benzoyl coenzyme A during short-term uptake of [14C]4-hydroxybenzoate, but benzoyl coenzyme A was the major radioactive metabolite formed by the wild type. In addition, crude extracts of the mutant failed to convert 4-hydroxybenzoyl coenzyme A to benzoyl coenzyme A. This evidence indicates that the hbaBCD genes encode the subunits of a 4-hydroxybenzoyl coenzyme A reductase (dehydroxylating). The sizes of the specified polypeptides are similar to those reported for 4-hydroxybenzoyl coenzyme A reductase isolated from the denitrifying bacterium Thauera aromatica. The amino acid consensus sequence for a molybdenum cofactor binding site is in HbaC. This cofactor appears to be an essential component because anaerobic growth of R. palustris on 4-hydroxybenzoate, but not on benzoate, was retarded unless 0.1 microM molybdate was added to the medium. Neither tungstate nor vanadate replaced molybdate, and tungstate competitively inhibited growth stimulation by molybdate.

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