Has the bacterial biphenyl catabolic pathway evolved primarily to degrade biphenyl? The diphenylmethane case.

Abstract : In this work, we have compared the ability of Pandoraea pnomenusa B356 and of Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 to metabolize diphenylmethane and benzophenone, two biphenyl analogs in which the phenyl rings are bonded to a single carbon. Both chemicals are of environmental concern. P. pnomenusa B356 grew well on diphenylmethane. On the basis of growth kinetics analyses, diphenylmethane and biphenyl were shown to induce the same catabolic pathway. The profile of metabolites produced during growth of strain B356 on diphenylmethane was the same as the one produced by isolated enzymes of the biphenyl catabolic pathway acting individually or in coupled reactions. The biphenyl dioxygenase oxidizes diphenylmethane to 3-benzylcyclohexa-3,5-diene-1,2-diol very efficiently, and ultimately this metabolite is transformed to phenylacetic acid, which is further metabolized by a lower pathway. Strain B356 was also able to cometabolize benzophenone through its biphenyl pathway, although in this case, this substrate was unable to induce the biphenyl catabolic pathway and the degradation was incomplete, with accumulation of 2-hydroxy-6,7-dioxo-7-phenylheptanoic acid. Unlike strain B356, B. xenovorans LB400 did not grow on diphenylmethane. Its biphenyl pathway enzymes metabolized diphenylmethane, but they poorly metabolize benzophenone. The fact that the biphenyl catabolic pathway of strain B356 metabolized diphenylmethane and benzophenone more efficiently than that of strain LB400 brings us to postulate that in strain B356, this pathway evolved divergently to serve other functions not related to biphenyl degradation.
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Thi Thanh My Pham, Michel Sylvestre. Has the bacterial biphenyl catabolic pathway evolved primarily to degrade biphenyl? The diphenylmethane case.. Journal of Bacteriology, American Society for Microbiology, 2013, 195 (16), pp.3563-74. ⟨10.1128/JB.00161-13⟩. ⟨pasteur-01132112⟩

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