World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 1739–1746 | Cite as

Purification and characterization of methyl parathion hydrolase from Burkholderia cepacia capable of degrading organophosphate insecticides

  • Anirut Ekkhunnatham
  • Boonsri Jongsareejit
  • Wanphen Yamkunthong
  • Jesdawan Wichitwechkarn
Original Paper


Methyl parathion hydrolase (MPH) from a methyl parathion-degrading Burkholderia cepacia indigenous to Thailand was purified to apparent homogeneity by three steps of column chromatography using Resource S, Sephadex G100, and Octyl Sepharose 4FF columns. Its molecular mass was determined to be 35 kDa, and the pI to be 8.5. The recombinant plasmid pGT1, containing the MPH-encoding gene, mpdB, cloned into pGEX-4T-2 was over-expressed in Escherichia coli as GST-MPH fusion protein. The recombinant MPH was purified to homogeneity by a single step, using GSTPrep FF affinity column, with the molecular mass identical to that of the native enzyme. The purified enzyme had the specific activity of about 1,600 unit mg−1 protein and the yield of about 75%, a 39-fold increase in recovery compared to that of the native enzyme. The optimal temperature and pH were 25°C and 9.0, respectively. The MPH was stable, with its activity unchanged for 48 h at 4°C, and reduced to 50% after 5 h and to 45% after 48 h at 25°C. The enzyme activity remained 80–90% after 8–15 h at pH 6–7. Cd2+, Co2+, and Zn2+ ions at the concentration of 1 mM enhanced the activity; while sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), dithiothreitol (DTT) and ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA) reduced it. The enzyme also showed cross reactivity with other insecticides within the organophosphate group, and the kinetic parameters for individual substrates were investigated. Since MPH from B. cepacia has wide potential applications in detoxification and detection of organophosphate compounds, this study provides important basis for its future use.


mpdB gene MPH Methyl parathion hydrolase Organophosphate hydrolase 



We thank Prof. Suchart Upatham for providing MP-degrading B. cepacia, and Dr. Preeyaporn Koedrith for technical assistance. Thanks to Prof. Klostermeyer, parts of MPH purification and N-terminal amino acid sequence determination were done at Lehrstuhl fuer Chemie der Biopolymer, TU-Muenchen, Germany. This work was supported by grants from The National Biotechnology Center and in part by The National Nanotechnology Center, Thailand.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anirut Ekkhunnatham
    • 1
  • Boonsri Jongsareejit
    • 2
  • Wanphen Yamkunthong
    • 1
  • Jesdawan Wichitwechkarn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Engineering and Industrial TechnologySilpakorn UniversityNakhon PathomThailand
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceSilpakorn UniversityNakhon PathomThailand

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