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

Carbon dioxide fixation in the metabolism of propylene and propylene oxide by Xanthobacter strain Py2.

Evidence for a requirement for CO2 in the productive metabolism of aliphatic alkenes and epoxides by the propylene-oxidizing bacterium Xanthobacter strain Py2 is presented. In the absence of CO2, whole-cell suspensions of propylene-grown cells catalyzed the isomerization of propylene oxide (epoxypropane) to acetone. In the presence of CO2, no acetone was produced. Acetone was not metabolized by suspensions of propylene-grown cells, in either the absence or presence of CO2. The degradation of propylene and propylene oxide by propylene-grown cells supported the fixation of 14CO2 into cell material, and the time course of 14C fixation correlated with the time course of propylene and propylene oxide degradation. The degradation of glucose and propionaldehyde by propylene-grown or glucose-grown cells did not support significant 14CO2 fixation. With propylene oxide as the substrate, the concentration dependence of 14CO2 fixation exhibited saturation kinetics, and at saturation, 0.9 mol of CO2 was fixed per mol of propylene oxide consumed. Cultures grown with propylene in a nitrogen-deficient medium supplemented with NaH13CO3 specifically incorporated 13C label into the C-1 (major labeled position) and C-3 (minor labeled position) carbon atoms of the endogenous storage compound poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate. No specific label incorporation was observed when cells were cultured with glucose or n-propanol as a carbon source. The depletion of CO2 from cultures grown with propylene, but not glucose or n-propanol, inhibited bacterial growth. We propose that propylene oxide metabolism in Xanthobacter strain Py2 proceeds by terminal carboxylation of an isomerization intermediate, which, in the absence of CO2, is released as acetone.[1]


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