, Volume 72, Issue 5, pp 876-882
Date: 11 Apr 2006

Cloning, expression, and characterization of a self-sufficient cytochrome P450 monooxygenase from Rhodococcus ruber DSM 44319

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A new member of class IV of cytochrome P450 monooxygenases was identified in Rhodococcus ruber strain DSM 44319. As the genome of R. ruber has not been sequenced, a P450-like gene fragment was amplified using degenerated primers. The flanking regions of the P450-like DNA fragment were identified by directional genome walking using polymerase chain reaction. The primary protein structure suggests a natural self-sufficient fusion protein consisting of ferredoxin, flavin-containing reductase, and P450 monooxygenase. The only flavin found within the enzyme was riboflavin 5′-monophosphate. The enzyme was successfully expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and characterized. In the presence of NADPH, the P450 monooxygenase showed hydroxylation activity towards polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons naphthalene, indene, acenaphthene, toluene, fluorene, m-xylene, and ethyl benzene. The conversion of naphthalene, acenaphthene, and fluorene resulted in respective ring monohydroxylated metabolites. Alkyl aromatics like toluene, m-xylene, and ethyl benzene were hydroxylated exclusively at the side chains. The new enzyme’s ability to oxidize such compounds makes it a potential candidate for biodegradation of pollutants and an attractive biocatalyst for synthesis.