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J Bacteriol. 1993 Dec;175(24):8038-42.

Regulation of the catechol 1,2-dioxygenase- and phenol monooxygenase-encoding pheBA operon in Pseudomonas putida PaW85.

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Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu.


In Pseudomonas putida PaW85, the ortho-cleavage pathway is used for catechol degradation. The 11.4-kb XhoI fragment cloned from phenol degradation plasmid pEST1226 into pKT240 (recombinant plasmid pAT1140) contains the inducible pheBA operon that encodes catechol 1,2-dioxygenase (gene pheB) and phenol monooxygenase (gene pheA), the first two enzymes for the phenol degradation pathway. The promoter of the pheBA operon is mapped 1.5 kb upstream of the pheB gene. The plasmid pAT1140, when introduced into P. putida PaW85, enables the bacteria to use the hybrid plasmid-chromosome-encoded pathway for phenol degradation. The synthesis of the plasmid-encoded phenol monooxygenase and catechol 1,2-dioxygenase is induced by cis,cis-muconate. The expression studies of the deletion subclones derived from pAT1140 revealed that the transcription of the pheBA operon is positively controlled by a regulatory protein that is chromosomally encoded in P. putida. cis,cis-Muconate in cooperation with positive transcription factor CatR activates the transcription of the chromosomal ortho-pathway genes catA and catBC in P. putida (R. K. Rothmel, T. L. Aldrich, J. E. Houghton, W. M. Coco, L. N. Ornston, and A. M. Chakrabarty, J. Bacteriol. 172:922-931, 1990). The inability to express the pheBA operon in a P. putida CatR- background and activation of transcription of the pheBA operon in Escherichia coli in the presence of the catR-expressing plasmid demonstrated that the transcription of the pheBA operon in P. putida PaW85 carrying pEST1226 is controlled by the chromosomally encoded CatR.

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