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

Characterization of the maleylacetate reductase MacA of Rhodococcus opacus 1CP and evidence for the presence of an isofunctional enzyme.

Maleylacetate reductases (EC have been shown to contribute not only to the bacterial catabolism of some usual aromatic compounds like quinol or resorcinol but also to the degradation of aromatic compounds carrying unusual substituents, such as halogen atoms or nitro groups. Genes coding for maleylacetate reductases so far have been analyzed mainly in chloroaromatic compound-utilizing proteobacteria, in which they were found to belong to specialized gene clusters for the turnover of chlorocatechols or 5-chlorohydroxyquinol. We have now cloned the gene macA, which codes for one of apparently (at least) two maleylacetate reductases in the gram-positive, chlorophenol-degrading strain Rhodococcus opacus 1CP. Sequencing of macA showed the gene product to be relatively distantly related to its proteobacterial counterparts (ca. 42 to 44% identical positions). Nevertheless, like the known enzymes from proteobacteria, the cloned Rhodococcus maleylacetate reductase was able to convert 2-chloromaleylacetate, an intermediate in the degradation of dichloroaromatic compounds, relatively fast and with reductive dehalogenation to maleylacetate. Among the genes ca. 3 kb up- and downstream of macA, none was found to code for an intradiol dioxygenase, a cycloisomerase, or a dienelactone hydrolase. Instead, the only gene which is likely to be cotranscribed with macA encodes a protein of the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family. Thus, the R. opacus maleylacetate reductase gene macA clearly is not part of a specialized chlorocatechol gene cluster.[1]


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