Microbial catabolism of vanillate: decarboxylation to guaiacol. (1/263)

A novel catabolic transformation of vanillic acid (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid) by microorganisms is reported. Several strains of Bacillus megaterium and a strain of Streptomyces are shown to convert vanillate to guaiacol (o-methoxyphenol) and CO2 by nonoxidative decarboxylation. Use of a modified most-probable-number procedure shows that numerous soils contain countable numbers (10(1) to 10(2) organisms per g of dry soil) of aerobic sporeformers able to convert vanillate to guaiacol. Conversion of vanillate to guaiacol by the microfloras of most-probable-number replicates was used as the criterion for scoring replicates positive or negative. Guaiacol was detected by thin-layer chromatography. These results indicate that the classic separations of catabolic pathways leading to specific ring-fashion substrates such as protocatechuate and catechol are often interconnectable by single enzymatic transformations, usually a decarboxylation.  (+info)

Characterization of two members of a novel malic enzyme class. (2/263)

The Gram-negative bacterium Rhizobium meliloti contains two distinct malic enzymes. We report the purification of the two isozymes to homogeneity, and their in vitro characterization. Both enzymes exhibit unusually high subunit molecular weights of about 82 kDa. The NAD(P)(+) specific malic enzyme [EC 1.1.1.39] exhibits positive co-operativity with respect to malate, but Michaelis-Menten type behavior with respect to the co-factors NAD(+) or NADP(+). The enzyme is subject to substrate inhibition, and shows allosteric regulation by acetyl-CoA, an effect that has so far only been described for some NADP(+) dependent malic enzymes. Its activity is positively regulated by succinate and fumarate. In contrast to the NAD(P)(+) specific malic enzyme, the NADP(+) dependent malic enzyme [EC 1.1.1.40] shows Michaelis-Menten type behavior with respect to malate and NADP(+). Apart from product inhibition, the enzyme is not subjected to any regulatory mechanism. Neither reductive carboxylation of pyruvate, nor decarboxylation of oxaloacetate, could be detected for either malic enzyme. Our characterization of the two R. meliloti malic enzymes therefore suggests a number of features uncharacteristic for malic enzymes described so far.  (+info)

Succinispira mobilis gen. nov., sp. nov., a succinate-decarboxylating anaerobic bacterium. (3/263)

A succinate-decarboxylating anaerobic bacterium, designated strain 19gly1T, was previously isolated from a mixed culture growing with glycolate. The almost complete sequence of the 16S rRNA gene (1495 nt) was determined for this strain. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence homology, strain 19gly1T was identified as a member of the Sporomusa sub-branch of the 'low G+C' Gram-positive bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis showed that strain 19gly1T was most closely related to Succiniclasticum ruminis, Phascolarctobacterium faecium and Acidaminococcus fermentans. The use of different algorithms, such as least-squares or neighbour-joining analyses of Jukes-Cantor pairwise distances, or maximum-parsimony or maximum-likelihood analyses of the aligned sequence data, revealed that strain 19gly1T grouped as the most deeply branching lineage of the strain 19gly1T-Succiniclasticum- Acidaminococcus-Phascolarctobacterium cluster. The phenotypic characteristics of strain 19gly1T distinguish it from members of the genera Succiniclasticum, Phascolarctobacterium and Acidaminococcus, and the phylogenetic distances inferred from comparative analysis of the 16S rDNA sequences suggest that strain 19gly1T is a representative of a new genus. Accordingly, strain 19gly1T (= DSM 6222T) is proposed as the type strain of a new species within a new genus, Succinispira mobilis gen. nov., sp. nov.  (+info)

Interplay of organic and biological chemistry in understanding coenzyme mechanisms: example of thiamin diphosphate-dependent decarboxylations of 2-oxo acids. (4/263)

With the publication of the three-dimensional structures of several thiamin diphosphate-dependent enzymes, the chemical mechanism of their non-oxidative and oxidative decarboxylation reactions is better understood. Chemical models for these reactions serve a useful purpose to help evaluate the additional catalytic rate acceleration provided by the protein component. The ability to generate, and spectroscopically observe, the two key zwitterionic intermediates invoked in such reactions allowed progress to be made in elucidating the rates and mechanisms of the elementary steps leading to and from these intermediates. The need remains to develop chemical models, which accurately reflect the enzyme-bound conformation of this coenzyme.  (+info)

Characterization of a vanillic acid non-oxidative decarboxylation gene cluster from Streptomyces sp. D7. (5/263)

The genetics of non-oxidative decarboxylation of aromatic acids are poorly understood in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Although such reactions have been observed in numerous micro-organisms acting on a variety of substrates, the genes encoding enzymes responsible for these processes have not, to our knowledge, been reported in the literature. Here, the isolation of a streptomycete from soil (Streptomyces sp. D7) which efficiently converts 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid (vanillic acid) to 2-methoxyphenol (guaiacol) is described. Protein two-dimensional gel analysis revealed that several proteins were synthesized in response to vanillic acid. One of these was characterized by partial amino-terminal sequencing, leading to the cloning of a gene cluster from a genomic DNA lambda phage library, consisting of three ORFs, vdcB (602 bp), vdcC (1424 bp) and vdcD (239 bp). Protein sequence comparisons suggest that the product of vdcB (201 aa) is similar to phenylacrylate decarboxylase of yeast; the putative products of vdcC (475 aa) and vdcD (80 aa) are similar to hypothetical proteins of unknown function from various micro-organisms, and are found in a similar cluster in Bacillus subtilis. Northern blot analysis revealed the synthesis of a 2.5 kb mRNA transcript in vanillic-acid-induced cells, suggesting that the cluster is under the control of a single inducible promoter. Expression of the entire vdc gene cluster in Streptomyces lividans 1326 as a heterologous host resulted in that strain acquiring the ability to decarboxylate vanillic acid to guaiacol non-oxidatively. Both Streptomyces sp. strain D7 and recombinant S. lividans 1326 expressing the vdc gene cluster do not, however, decarboxylate structurally similar aromatic acids, suggesting that the system is specific for vanillic acid. This catabolic system may be useful as a component for pathway engineering research focused towards the production of valuable chemicals from forestry and agricultural by-products.  (+info)

Catabolism of alpha-ketoglutarate by a sucA mutant of Bradyrhizobium japonicum: evidence for an alternative tricarboxylic acid cycle. (6/263)

A complete tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is generally considered necessary for energy production from the dicarboxylic acid substrates malate, succinate, and fumarate. However, a Bradyrhizobium japonicum sucA mutant that is missing alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase is able to grow on malate as its sole source of carbon. This mutant also fixes nitrogen in symbiosis with soybean, where dicarboxylic acids are its principal carbon substrate. Using a flow chamber system to make direct measurements of oxygen consumption and ammonium excretion, we confirmed that bacteroids formed by the sucA mutant displayed wild-type rates of respiration and nitrogen fixation. Despite the absence of alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase activity, whole cells of the mutant were able to decarboxylate alpha-[U-(14)C]ketoglutarate and [U-(14)C]glutamate at rates similar to those of wild-type B. japonicum, indicating that there was an alternative route for alpha-ketoglutarate catabolism. Because cell extracts from B. japonicum decarboxylated [U-(14)C]glutamate very slowly, the gamma-aminobutyrate shunt is unlikely to be the pathway responsible for alpha-ketoglutarate catabolism in the mutant. In contrast, cell extracts from both the wild type and mutant showed a coenzyme A (CoA)-independent alpha-ketoglutarate decarboxylation activity. This activity was independent of pyridine nucleotides and was stimulated by thiamine PP(i). Thin-layer chromatography showed that the product of alpha-ketoglutarate decarboxylation was succinic semialdehyde. The CoA-independent alpha-ketoglutarate decarboxylase, along with succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase, may form an alternative pathway for alpha-ketoglutarate catabolism, and this pathway may enhance TCA cycle function during symbiotic nitrogen fixation.  (+info)

Decarboxylation of substituted cinnamic acids by lactic acid bacteria isolated during malt whisky fermentation. (7/263)

Seven strains of Lactobacillus isolated from malt whisky fermentations and representing Lactobacillus brevis, L. crispatus, L. fermentum, L. hilgardii, L. paracasei, L. pentosus, and L. plantarum contained genes for hydroxycinnamic acid (p-coumaric acid) decarboxylase. With the exception of L. hilgardii, these bacteria decarboxylated p-coumaric acid and/or ferulic acid, with the production of 4-vinylphenol and/or 4-vinylguaiacol, respectively, although the relative activities on the two substrates varied between strains. The addition of p-coumaric acid or ferulic acid to cultures of L. pentosus in MRS broth induced hydroxycinnamic acid decarboxylase mRNA within 5 min, and the gene was also induced by the indigenous components of malt wort. In a simulated distillery fermentation, a mixed culture of L. crispatus and L. pentosus in the presence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae decarboxylated added p-coumaric acid more rapidly than the yeast alone but had little activity on added ferulic acid. Moreover, we were able to demonstrate the induction of hydroxycinnamic acid decarboxylase mRNA under these conditions. However, in fermentations with no additional hydroxycinnamic acid, the bacteria lowered the final concentration of 4-vinylphenol in the fermented wort compared to the level seen in a pure-yeast fermentation. It seems likely that the combined activities of bacteria and yeast decarboxylate p-coumaric acid and then reduce 4-vinylphenol to 4-ethylphenol more effectively than either microorganism alone in pure cultures. Although we have shown that lactobacilli participate in the metabolism of phenolic compounds during malt whisky fermentations, the net result is a reduction in the concentrations of 4-vinylphenol and 4-vinylguaiacol prior to distillation.  (+info)

Induction of epithelial differentiation and DNA demethylation in hamster malignant oral keratinocyte by ornithine decarboxylase antizyme. (8/263)

The hamster ornithine decarboxylase antizyme (ODC-Az) cDNA was transfected into the hamster malignant oral keratinocyte cell line, HCPC-1. Ectopic expression of ODC-Az resulted in the reversion of malignant phenotypes and alteration of DNA methylation status of CCGG sites. The phenotypes examined include ODC enzymatic activity, doubling time, morphological change, anchorage dependent growth, tumorigenicity in nude mice, induction of epithelial differentiation marker protein (involucrin), and change of cell cycle position. Comparison of CCGG DNA methylation status of the ODC-Az and control vector transfectants revealed a significant increase in demethylation of 5-methyl cytosines (m5C) of CCGG sites in the ODC-Az transfectants. Ectopic expression of ODC-Az gene in hamster malignant oral keratinocytes led to reduce ODC activity and the subsequent demethylation of 5-methyl cytosines, presumably via the ODC/ polyamines/ decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine (dc-AdoMet) pathways. Our data suggest that ODC-Az shared the same pathway of polyamines/ dc-AdoMet/DNA methyltransferase (DNA MTase). We propose that ODC-Az mediates a novel mechanism in tumor suppression by DNA demethylation and presumably re-activation of key cellular genes silenced by DNA hypermethylation during cancer development. Oncogene (2001) 20, 24 - 33.  (+info)