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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of quinolinate phosphoribosyl transferase in degradation of phthalate by Burkholderia cepacia DBO1.

Two distinct regions of DNA encode the enzymes needed for phthalate degradation by Burkholderia cepacia DBO1. A gene coding for an enzyme (quinolinate phosphoribosyl transferase) involved in the biosynthesis of NAD+ was identified between these two regions by sequence analysis and functional assays. Southern hybridization experiments indicate that DBO1 and other phthalate-degrading B. cepacia strains have two dissimilar genes for this enzyme, while non-phthalate-degrading B. cepacia strains have only a single gene. The sequenced gene was labeled ophE, due to the fact that it is specifically induced by phthalate as shown by lacZ gene fusions. Insertional knockout mutants lacking ophE grow noticeably slower on phthalate while exhibiting normal rates of growth on other substrates. The fact that elevated levels of quinolinate phosphoribosyl transferase enhance growth on phthalate stems from the structural similarities between phthalate and quinolinate: phthalate is a competitive inhibitor of this enzyme and the phthalate catabolic pathway cometabolizes quinolinate. The recruitment of this gene for growth on phthalate thus gives B. cepacia an advantage over other phthalate-degrading bacteria in the environment.[1]


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