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

Catabolism of benzoate and phthalate in Rhodococcus sp. strain RHA1: redundancies and convergence.

Genomic and proteomic approaches were used to investigate phthalate and benzoate catabolism in Rhodococcus sp. strain RHA1, a polychlorinated biphenyl-degrading actinomycete. Sequence analyses identified genes involved in the catabolism of benzoate (ben) and phthalate (pad), the uptake of phthalate (pat), and two branches of the beta-ketoadipate pathway (catRABC and pcaJIHGBLFR). The regulatory and structural ben genes are separated by genes encoding a cytochrome P450. The pad and pat genes are contained on a catabolic island that is duplicated on plasmids pRHL1 and pRHL2 and includes predicted terephthalate catabolic genes (tpa). Proteomic analyses demonstrated that the beta-ketoadipate pathway is functionally convergent. Specifically, the pad and pat gene products were only detected in phthalate-grown cells. Similarly, the ben and cat gene products were only detected in benzoate-grown cells. However, pca-encoded enzymes were present under both growth conditions. Activity assays for key enzymes confirmed these results. Disruption of pcaL, which encodes a fusion enzyme, abolished growth on phthalate. In contrast, after a lag phase, growth of the mutant on benzoate was similar to that of the wild type. Proteomic analyses revealed 20 proteins in the mutant that were not detected in wild-type cells during growth on benzoate, including a CatD homolog that apparently compensated for loss of PcaL. Analysis of completed bacterial genomes indicates that the convergent beta-ketoadipate pathway and some aspects of its genetic organization are characteristic of rhodococci and related actinomycetes. In contrast, the high redundancy of catabolic pathways and enzymes appears to be unique to RHA1 and may increase its potential to adapt to new carbon sources.[1]


  1. Catabolism of benzoate and phthalate in Rhodococcus sp. strain RHA1: redundancies and convergence. Patrauchan, M.A., Florizone, C., Dosanjh, M., Mohn, W.W., Davies, J., Eltis, L.D. J. Bacteriol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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