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

Kinetics of chlorinated hydrocarbon degradation by Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b and toxicity of trichloroethylene.

The kinetics of the degradation of trichloroethylene (TCE) and seven other chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons by Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b were studied. All experiments were performed with cells grown under copper stress and thus expressing soluble methane monooxygenase. Compounds that were readily degraded included chloroform, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, and TCE, with Vmax values of 550, 330, and 290 nmol min-1 mg of cells-1, respectively. 1,1-Dichloroethylene was a very poor substrate. TCE was found to be toxic for the cells, and this phenomenon was studied in detail. Addition of activated carbon decreased the acute toxicity of high levels of TCE by adsorption, and slow desorption enabled the cells to partially degrade TCE. TCE was also toxic by inactivating the cells during its conversion. The degree of inactivation was proportional to the amount of TCE degraded; maximum degradation occurred at a concentration of 2 mumol of TCE mg of cells-1. During conversion of [14C]TCE, various proteins became radiolabeled, including the alpha-subunit of the hydroxylase component of soluble methane monooxygenase. This indicated that TCE-mediated inactivation of cells was caused by nonspecific covalent binding of degradation products to cellular proteins.[1]


  1. Kinetics of chlorinated hydrocarbon degradation by Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b and toxicity of trichloroethylene. Oldenhuis, R., Oedzes, J.Y., van der Waarde, J.J., Janssen, D.B. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1991) [Pubmed]
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