, Volume 221, Issue 1, pp 113-120

The meta cleavage operon of TOL degradative plasmid pWWO comprises 13 genes

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The meta-cleavage operon of TOL plasmid pWWO of Pseudomonas putida encodes a set of enzymes which transform benzoate/toluates to Krebs cycle intermediates via extradiol (meta-) cleavage of (methyl)catechol. The genetic organization of the operon was characterized by cloning of the meta-cleavage genes into an expression vector and identification of their products in Escherichia coli maxicells. This analysis showed that the meta-cleavage operon contains 13 genes whose order and products (in kilodaltons) are The xyIXYZ genes encode three subunits of toluate 1,2-dioxygenase. The xylL, xyIE, xyIG, xylF, xylJ, xylK, xylI and xylH genes encode 1,2-dihydroxy-3,5-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate dehydrogenase, catechol 2,3-dioxygenase, 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde dehydrogenase, 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde hydrolase, 2-oxopent-4-enoate hydratase, 4-hydroxy-2-oxovalerate aldolase, 4-oxalocrotonate decarboxylase and 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase, respectively. The functions of xyIT and xylQ are not known at present. The comparison of the coding capacity and the sizes of the products of the meta-cleavage operon genes indicated that most of the DNA between xyIX and xyIH consists of coding sequences.

Communicated by K. Isono