Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1038/ismej.2016.91
Title (Primary) An unusual strategy for the anoxic biodegradation of phthalate
Author Ebenau-Jehle, C.; Mergelsberg, M.; Fischer, S.; Brüls, T.; Jehmlich, N. ORCID logo ; von Bergen, M.; Boll, M.
Source Titel ISME Journal
Year 2017
Department MOLSYB
Volume 11
Issue 1
Page From 224
Page To 236
Language englisch
UFZ wide themes RU3;
Abstract In the past two decades, the study of oxygen-independent degradation of widely abundant aromatic compounds in anaerobic bacteria has revealed numerous unprecedented enzymatic principles. Surprisingly, the organisms, metabolites and enzymes involved in the degradation of o-phthalate (1,2-dicarboxybenzene), mainly derived from phthalate esters that are annually produced at the million ton scale, are sparsely known. Here, we demonstrate a previously unknown capacity of complete phthalate degradation in established aromatic compound-degrading, denitrifying model organisms of the genera Thauera, Azoarcus and ‘Aromatoleum’. Differential proteome analyses revealed phthalate-induced gene clusters involved in uptake and conversion of phthalate to the central intermediate benzoyl-CoA. Enzyme assays provided in vitro evidence for the formation of phthaloyl-CoA by a succinyl-CoA- and phthalate-specific CoA transferase, which is essential for the subsequent oxygen-sensitive decarboxylation to benzoyl-CoA. The extreme instability of the phthaloyl-CoA intermediate requires highly balanced CoA transferase and decarboxylase activities to avoid its cellular accumulation. Phylogenetic analysis revealed phthaloyl-CoA decarboxylase as a novel member of the UbiD-like, (de)carboxylase enzyme family. Homologs of the encoding gene form a phylogenetic cluster and are found in soil, freshwater and marine bacteria; an ongoing global distribution of a possibly only recently evolved degradation pathway is suggested.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Ebenau-Jehle, C., Mergelsberg, M., Fischer, S., Brüls, T., Jehmlich, N., von Bergen, M., Boll, M. (2017):
An unusual strategy for the anoxic biodegradation of phthalate
ISME J. 11 (1), 224 - 236 10.1038/ismej.2016.91