Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 173, Issue 1, pp 35–41

Initial in vitro characterisation of phosphonopyruvate hydrolase, a novel phosphate starvation-independent, carbon-phosphorus bond cleavage enzyme in Burkholderia cepacia Pal6

  • N. G. Ternan
  • J. T. G. Hamilton
  • J. P. Quinn
Original paper


A novel, inducible carbon-phosphorus bond cleavage enzyme, phosphonopyruvate hydrolase, was detected in cell-free extracts of Burkholderia cepacia Pal6, an environmental isolate capable of mineralising l-phosphonoalanine as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus source. The activity was induced only in the presence of phosphonoalanine, did not require phosphate starvation for induction and was uniquely specific for phosphonopyruvate, producing equimolar quantities of pyruvate and inorganic phosphate. The native enzyme had a molecular mass of some 232 kDa and showed activation by metal ions in the order Co2+ > Ni2+ > Mg2+ > Zn2+ > Fe2+ > Cu2+. Temperature and pH optima in crude cell extracts were ¶50 °C and 7.5, respectively, and activity was inhibited by EDTA, phosphite, sulfite, mercaptoethanol and sodium azide. Phosphonopyruvate hydrolase is the third bacterial C-P bond cleavage enzyme reported to date that proceeds via a hydrolytic mechanism.

Key words Phosphonopyruvate Hydrolase C-P bond Inducible Phosphonoalanine Organophosphonates Deregulated pho regulon 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. G. Ternan
    • 1
  • J. T. G. Hamilton
    • 3
  • J. P. Quinn
    • 2
  1. 1.Biotechnology Research Group, School of Applied Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA e-mail:, Tel.: +44-1265-323063, Fax: +44-1265-324906GB
  2. 2.School of Biology and Biochemistry, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern IrelandGB
  3. 3.Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Division of Food Science, Newforge Lane, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern IrelandGB
  4. 4.QUESTOR Centre, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern IrelandGB

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