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1. Rohwerder  T, Breuer  U, Benndorf  D, Lechner  U, Müller  RH,     ( 2006 )

The alkyl tert-butyl ether intermediate 2-hydroxyisobutyrate is degraded via a novel cobalamin-dependent mutase pathway.

Applied and environmental microbiology 72 (6)
PMID : 16751524  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.00080-06     PMC  :   PMC1489616     DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.00080-06     PMC  :   PMC1489616    
Abstract >>
Fuel oxygenates such as methyl and ethyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE and ETBE, respectively) are degraded only by a limited number of bacterial strains. The aerobic pathway is generally thought to run via tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) and 2-hydroxyisobutyrate (2-HIBA), whereas further steps are unclear. We have now demonstrated for the newly isolated beta-proteobacterial strains L108 and L10, as well as for the closely related strain CIP I-2052, that 2-HIBA was degraded by a cobalamin-dependent enzymatic step. In these strains, growth on substrates containing the tert-butyl moiety, such as MTBE, TBA, and 2-HIBA, was strictly dependent on cobalt, which could be replaced by cobalamin. Tandem mass spectrometry identified a 2-HIBA-induced protein with high similarity to a peptide whose gene sequence was found in the finished genome of the MTBE-degrading strain Methylibium petroleiphilum PM1. Alignment analysis identified it as the small subunit of isobutyryl-coenzyme A (CoA) mutase (ICM; EC, which is a cobalamin-containing carbon skeleton-rearranging enzyme, originally described only in Streptomyces spp. Sequencing of the genes of both ICM subunits from strain L108 revealed nearly 100% identity with the corresponding peptide sequences from M. petroleiphilum PM1, suggesting a horizontal gene transfer event to have occurred between these strains. Enzyme activity was demonstrated in crude extracts of induced cells of strains L108 and L10, transforming 2-HIBA into 3-hydroxybutyrate in the presence of CoA and ATP. The physiological and evolutionary aspects of this novel pathway involved in MTBE and ETBE metabolism are discussed.
KeywordMeSH Terms
2. Kurteva-Yaneva  N, Zahn  M, Weichler  MT, Starke  R, Harms  H, Müller  RH, Sträter  N, Rohwerder  T,     ( 2015 )

Structural basis of the stereospecificity of bacterial B12-dependent 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase.

The Journal of biological chemistry 290 (15)
PMID : 25720495  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.M115.645689     PMC  :   PMC4392272    
Abstract >>
Bacterial coenzyme B12-dependent 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase (HCM) is a radical enzyme catalyzing the stereospecific interconversion of (S)-3-hydroxybutyryl- and 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA. It consists of two subunits, HcmA and HcmB. To characterize the determinants of substrate specificity, we have analyzed the crystal structure of HCM from Aquincola tertiaricarbonis in complex with coenzyme B12 and the substrates (S)-3-hydroxybutyryl- and 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA in alternative binding. When compared with the well studied structure of bacterial and mitochondrial B12-dependent methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM), HCM has a highly conserved domain architecture. However, inspection of the substrate binding site identified amino acid residues not present in MCM, namely HcmA Ile(A90) and Asp(A117). Asp(A117) determines the orientation of the hydroxyl group of the acyl-CoA esters by H-bond formation, thus determining stereospecificity of catalysis. Accordingly, HcmA D117A and D117V mutations resulted in significantly increased activity toward (R)-3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA. Besides interconversion of hydroxylated acyl-CoA esters, wild-type HCM as well as HcmA I90V and I90A mutant enzymes could also isomerize pivalyl- and isovaleryl-CoA, albeit at >10 times lower rates than the favorite substrate (S)-3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA. The nonconservative mutation HcmA D117V, however, resulted in an enzyme showing high activity toward pivalyl-CoA. Structural requirements for binding and isomerization of highly branched acyl-CoA substrates such as 2-hydroxyisobutyryl- and pivalyl-CoA, possessing tertiary and quaternary carbon atoms, respectively, are discussed.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl)
Crystal Structure
Substrate Specificity
X-ray Crystallography
acyl-CoA Mutase
3. Rohwerder  T, Müller  RH, Weichler  MT, Schuster  J, Hübschmann  T, Müller  S, Harms  H,     ( 2013 )

Cultivation of Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108 on the fuel oxygenate intermediate tert-butyl alcohol induces aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis at extremely low feeding rates.

Microbiology (Reading, England) 159 (Pt 10)
PMID : 23873782  :   DOI  :   10.1099/mic.0.068957-0    
Abstract >>
Aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis (AAP) is found in an increasing number of proteobacterial strains thriving in ecosystems ranging from extremely oligotrophic to eutrophic. Here, we have investigated whether the fuel oxygenate-degrading betaproteobacterium Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108 can use AAP to compensate kinetic limitations at low heterotrophic substrate fluxes. In a fermenter experiment with complete biomass retention and also during chemostat cultivation, strain L108 was challenged with extremely low substrate feeding rates of tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), an intermediate of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). Interestingly, formation of photosynthetic pigments, identified as bacteriochlorophyll a and spirilloxanthin, was only induced in growing cells at TBA feeding rates less than or equal to maintenance requirements observed under energy excess conditions. Growth continued at rates between 0.001 and 0.002 h(-1) even when the TBA feed was decreased to values close to 30 % of this maintenance rate. Partial sequencing of genomic DNA of strain L108 revealed a bacteriochlorophyll synthesis gene cluster (bchFNBHL) and photosynthesis regulator genes (ppsR and ppaA) typically found in AAP and other photosynthetic proteobacteria. The usage of light as auxiliary energy source enabling evolution of efficient degradation pathways for kinetically limited heterotrophic substrates and for lowering the threshold substrate concentration Smin at which growth becomes zero is discussed.
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4. Yaneva  N, Schuster  J, Schäfer  F, Lede  V, Przybylski  D, Paproth  T, Harms  H, Müller  RH, Rohwerder  T,     ( 2012 )

Bacterial acyl-CoA mutase specifically catalyzes coenzyme B12-dependent isomerization of 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA and (S)-3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA.

The Journal of biological chemistry 287 (19)
PMID : 22433853  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.M111.314690     PMC  :   PMC3346121    
Abstract >>
Coenzyme B(12)-dependent acyl-CoA mutases are radical enzymes catalyzing reversible carbon skeleton rearrangements in carboxylic acids. Here, we describe 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase (HCM) found in the bacterium Aquincola tertiaricarbonis as a novel member of the mutase family. HCM specifically catalyzes the interconversion of 2-hydroxyisobutyryl- and (S)-3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA. Like isobutyryl-CoA mutase, HCM consists of a large substrate- and a small B(12)-binding subunit, HcmA and HcmB, respectively. However, it is thus far the only acyl-CoA mutase showing substrate specificity for hydroxylated carboxylic acids. Complete loss of 2-hydroxyisobutyric acid degradation capacity in hcmA and hcmB knock-out mutants established the central role of HCM in A. tertiaricarbonis for degrading substrates bearing a tert-butyl moiety, such as the fuel oxygenate methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and its metabolites. Sequence analysis revealed several HCM-like enzymes in other bacterial strains not related to MTBE degradation, indicating that HCM may also be involved in other pathways. In all strains, hcmA and hcmB are associated with genes encoding for a putative acyl-CoA synthetase and a MeaB-like chaperone. Activity and substrate specificity of wild-type enzyme and active site mutants HcmA I90V, I90F, and I90Y clearly demonstrated that HCM belongs to a new subfamily of B(12)-dependent acyl-CoA mutases.
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5. Schuster  J, Schäfer  F, Hübler  N, Brandt  A, Rosell  M, Härtig  C, Harms  H, Müller  RH, Rohwerder  T,     ( 2012 )

Bacterial degradation of tert-amyl alcohol proceeds via hemiterpene 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol by employing the tertiary alcohol desaturase function of the Rieske nonheme mononuclear iron oxygenase MdpJ.

Journal of bacteriology 194 (5)
PMID : 22194447  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JB.06384-11     PMC  :   PMC3294816    
Abstract >>
Tertiary alcohols, such as tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) and tert-amyl alcohol (TAA) and higher homologues, are only slowly degraded microbially. The conversion of TBA seems to proceed via hydroxylation to 2-methylpropan-1,2-diol, which is further oxidized to 2-hydroxyisobutyric acid. By analogy, a branched pathway is expected for the degradation of TAA, as this molecule possesses several potential hydroxylation sites. In Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108 and Methylibium petroleiphilum PM1, a likely candidate catalyst for hydroxylations is the putative tertiary alcohol monooxygenase MdpJ. However, by comparing metabolite accumulations in wild-type strains of L108 and PM1 and in two mdpJ knockout mutants of strain L108, we could clearly show that MdpJ is not hydroxylating TAA to diols but functions as a desaturase, resulting in the formation of the hemiterpene 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol. The latter is further processed via the hemiterpenes prenol, prenal, and 3-methylcrotonic acid. Likewise, 3-methyl-3-pentanol is degraded via 3-methyl-1-penten-3-ol. Wild-type strain L108 and mdpJ knockout mutants formed isoamylene and isoprene from TAA and 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, respectively. It is likely that this dehydratase activity is catalyzed by a not-yet-characterized enzyme postulated for the isomerization of 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol and prenol. The vitamin requirements of strain L108 growing on TAA and the occurrence of 3-methylcrotonic acid as a metabolite indicate that TAA and hemiterpene degradation are linked with the catabolic route of the amino acid leucine, including an involvement of the biotin-dependent 3-methylcrotonyl coenzyme A (3-methylcrotonyl-CoA) carboxylase LiuBD. Evolutionary aspects of favored desaturase versus hydroxylation pathways for TAA conversion and the possible role of MdpJ in the degradation of higher tertiary alcohols are discussed.
KeywordMeSH Terms
6.     ( 2013 )

Constitutive expression of the cytochrome P450 EthABCD monooxygenase system enables degradation of synthetic dialkyl ethers in Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108.

Applied and environmental microbiology 79 (7)
PMID : 23354715  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.03348-12     PMC  :   PMC3623258    
Abstract >>
In Rhodococcus ruber IFP 2001, Rhodococcus zopfii IFP 2005, and Gordonia sp. strain IFP 2009, the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase EthABCD catalyzes hydroxylation of methoxy and ethoxy residues in the fuel oxygenates methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE), and tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME). The expression of the IS3-type transposase-flanked eth genes is ETBE dependent and controlled by the regulator EthR (C. Malandain et al., FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 72:289-296, 2010). In contrast, we demonstrated by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) that the betaproteobacterium Aquincola tertiaricarbonis L108, which possesses the ethABCD genes but lacks ethR, constitutively expresses the P450 system at high levels even when growing on nonether substrates, such as glucose. The mutant strain A. tertiaricarbonis L10, which is unable to degrade dialkyl ethers, resulted from a transposition event mediated by a rolling-circle IS91-type element flanking the eth gene cluster in the wild-type strain L108. The constitutive expression of Eth monooxygenase is likely initiated by the housekeeping sigma factor �m(70), as indicated by the presence in strain L108 of characteristic -10 and -35 binding sites upstream of ethA which are lacking in strain IFP 2001. This enables efficient degradation of diethyl ether, diisopropyl ether, MTBE, ETBE, TAME, and tert-amyl ethyl ether (TAEE) without any lag phase in strain L108. However, ethers with larger residues, n-hexyl methyl ether, tetrahydrofuran, and alkyl aryl ethers, were not attacked by the Eth system at significant rates in resting-cell experiments, indicating that the residue in the ether molecule which is not hydroxylated also contributes to the determination of substrate specificity.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Expression

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