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Metabolism of the 18O-methoxy substituent of 3-methoxybenzoic acid and other unlabeled methoxybenzoic acids by anaerobic bacteria.

Applied and environmental microbiology (1988-05-01)
K A DeWeerd, A Saxena, D P Nagle, J M Suflita
ABSTRACT

O-methyl substituents of aromatic compounds can provide C1 growth substrates for facultative and strict anaerobic bacteria isolated from diverse environments. The mechanism of the bioconversion of methoxylated benzoic acids to the hydroxylated derivatives was investigated with a model substrate and cultures of one anaerobic consortium, eight strict anaerobic bacteria, and one facultative anaerobic microorganism. Using high-pressure liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectral analysis, we found that a haloaromatic dehalogenating consortium, a dehalogenating isolate from that consortium, Eubacterium limosum, and a strain of Acetobacterium woodii metabolized 3-[methoxy-18O]methoxybenzoic acid (3-anisic acid) to 3-[hydroxy-18O]hydroxybenzoic acid stoichiometrically at rates of 1.5, 3.2, 52.4, and 36.7 nmol/min per mg of protein, respectively. A different strain of Acetobacterium and strains of Syntrophococcus, Clostridium, Desulfotomaculum, Enterobacter, and an anaerobic bacterium, strain TH-001, were unable to transform this compound. The O-demethylating ability of E. limosum was induced only with appropriate methoxylated benzoates but not with D-glucose, lactate, isoleucine, or methanol. Cross-acclimation and growth experiments with E. limosum showed a rate of metabolism that was an order of magnitude slower and showed no growth with either 4-methoxysalicylic acid (2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzoic acid) or 4-anisic acid (4-methoxybenzoic acid) when adapted to 3-anisic acid. However, A. woodii NZva-16 showed slower rates and no growth with 3- or 4-methoxysalicylic acid when adapted to 3-anisic acid in similar experiments. The results clearly indicate a methyl rather than methoxy group removal mechanism for such reactions.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
3-Methoxybenzoic acid, ReagentPlus®, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
m-Anisic acid, ≥98%