Phthalate catabolic gene cluster is linked to the angular dioxygenase gene in Terrabacter sp. strain DBF63
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Phthalate is a metabolic intermediate of the pathway of fluorene (FN) degradation via angular dioxygenation. A gene cluster responsible for the conversion of phthalate to protocatechuate was cloned from the dibenzofuran (DF)- and FN-degrading bacterium Terrabacter sp. strain DBF63 and sequenced. The genes encoding seven catabolic enzymes, oxygenase large subunit of phthalate 3,4-dioxygenase (phtA1), oxygenase small subunit of phthalate 3,4-dioxygenase (phtA2), cis-3,4-dihydroxy-3,4-dihydrophthalate dehydrogenase (phtB), [3Fe-4S] or [4Fe-4S] type of ferredoxin (phtA3), ferredoxin reductase (phtA4), 3,4-dihydroxyphthalate decarboxylase (phtC) and putative regulatory protein (phtR), were found in the upstream region of the angular dioxygenase gene (dbfA1A2), encoded in this order. Escherichia coli carrying phtA1A2BA3A4 genes converted phthalate to 3,4-dihydroxyphthalate, and the 3,4-dihydroxyphthalate decarboxylase activity by E. coli cells carrying phtC was finally detected with the introduction of a Shine-Dalgarno sequence in the upstream region of its initiation codon. Homology analysis on the upstream region of the pht gene cluster revealed that there was an insertion sequence (IS) (ISTesp2; ORF14 and its flanking region), part of which was almost 100% identical to the orf1 and its flanking region adjacent to the extradiol dioxygenase gene (bphC1) involved in the DF degradation of Terrabacter sp. strain DPO360 [Schmid et al. (1997) J Bacteriol 179:53–62]. This suggests that ISTesp2 plays a role in the metabolism of aromatic compounds in Terrabacter sp. strains DBF63 and DPO360.
KeywordsGene Cluster Phthalate Flank Region Upstream Region Dibenzofuran
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