, Volume 193, Issue 4, pp 241-250
Date: 08 Jan 2011

Identification of new enzymes potentially involved in anaerobic naphthalene degradation by the sulfate-reducing enrichment culture N47

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The sulfate-reducing highly enriched culture N47 is capable to anaerobically degrade naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, and 2-naphthoic acid. A proteogenomic investigation was performed to elucidate the initial activation reaction of anaerobic naphthalene degradation. This lead to the identification of an alpha-subunit of a carboxylase protein that was two-fold up-regulated in naphthalene-grown cells compared to 2-methylnaphthalene-grown cells. The putative naphthalene carboxylase subunit showed 48% similarity to the anaerobic benzene carboxylase from an iron-reducing, benzene-degrading culture and 45% to alpha-subunit of phenylphosphate carboxylase of Aromatoleum aromaticum EbN1. A gene for the beta-subunit of putative naphthalene carboxylase was located nearby on the genome and was expressed with naphthalene. Similar to anaerobic benzene carboxylase, there were no genes for gamma- and delta-subunits of a putative carboxylase protein located on the genome which excludes participation in degradation of phenolic compounds. The genes identified for putative naphthalene carboxylase subunits showed only weak similarity to 4-hydroxybenzoate decarboxylase excluding ATP-independent carboxylation. Several ORFs were identified that possibly encode a 2-naphthoate-CoA ligase, which is obligate for activation before the subsequent ring reduction by naphthoyl-CoA reductase. One of these ligases was exclusively expressed on naphthalene and 2-naphthoic acid and might be the responsible naphthoate-CoA-ligase.