Novel enzymic hydrolytic dehalogenation of a chlorinated aromatic

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Science  12 Jul 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5016, pp. 182-185
DOI: 10.1126/science.1853203


Microbial enzyme systems may be used in the biodegradation of persistent environmental pollutants. The three polypeptide components of one such system, the 4-chlorobenzoate dehalogenase system, have been isolated, and the chemical steps of the 4-hydroxybenzoate-forming reaction that they catalyze have been identified. The genes contained within a 4.5-kilobase Pseudomonas sp. strain CBS3 chromosomal DNA fragment that encode dehalogenase activity were selectively expressed in transformed Escherichia coli. Oligonucleotide sequencing revealed a stretch of homology between the 57-kilodalton (kD) polypeptide and several magnesium adenosine triphosphate (MgATP)-cleaving enzymes that allowed MgATP and coenzyme A (CoA) to be identified as the dehalogenase cosubstrate and cofactor, respectively. The dehalogenase activity arises from two components, a 4-chlorobenzoate:CoA ligase-dehalogenase (an alpha beta dimer of the 57- and 30-kD polypeptides) and a thioesterase (the 16-kD polypeptide).

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