Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 36, Issue 11, pp 2209–2214 | Cite as

Desulfurization of thianthrene by a Gordonia sp. IITR100

  • Abrar Ahmad
  • Ashok Kumar Chauhan
  • Saleem Javed
  • Ashwani Kumar
Original Research Paper


Thianthrene (TA) was desulfurized by an isolated strain, Gordonia sp. IITR100. The reaction is accompanied with the formation of TA-sulfoxide, TA-sulfone and 2-phenylsulfanylphenol. The formed 2-phenylsulfanylphenol undergoes further oxidation to o-hydroxyphenyl phenylsulfone that accumulates as an end product. Metabolism of TA to TA-sulfone can also occur by E. coli-DszC i.e. E. coli cells that were harboring the gene coding for the enzyme dibenzothiophene desulfurase C. When presented to E. coli-DszC in a binary combination with dibenzothiophene, TA metabolism was completely inhibited. Metabolism of TA–TA-sulfone by E. coli-DszC, as well as the nature of metabolites formed by IITR100, suggests that the desulfurization pathway for TA is similar to that of the thiophenic compounds. This is first report on the desulfurization of thianthrene, and has implications on biodesulfurization when multiple sulfur compounds are present together.


Biodesulfurization Dibenzothiophene DszC Gordonia sp. Thianthrene 



Financial assistance by a grant SIP-08 from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, is gratefully acknowledged. Authors AA and AKC sincerely thank CSIR and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India, respectively, for fellowship support. We are also thankful to our colleagues in the analytical facility of Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow, for their help in HPLC and GC–MS analysis.

Conflict of interest

Authors do not have any financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abrar Ahmad
    • 1
  • Ashok Kumar Chauhan
    • 1
  • Saleem Javed
    • 2
  • Ashwani Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Biotechnology DivisionCSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology ResearchLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceJamia HamdardNew DelhiIndia

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