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Applied and environmental microbiology

Involvement of an alkane hydroxylase system of Gordonia sp. strain SoCg in degradation of solid n-alkanes.


PMID 21183636

Abstract

Enzymes involved in oxidation of long-chain n-alkanes are still not well known, especially those in gram-positive bacteria. This work describes the alkane degradation system of the n-alkane degrader actinobacterium Gordonia sp. strain SoCg, which is able to grow on n-alkanes from dodecane (C(12)) to hexatriacontane (C(36)) as the sole C source. SoCg harbors in its chromosome a single alk locus carrying six open reading frames (ORFs), which shows 78 to 79% identity with the alkane hydroxylase (AH)-encoding systems of other alkane-degrading actinobacteria. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR showed that the genes encoding AlkB (alkane 1-monooxygenase), RubA3 (rubredoxin), RubA4 (rubredoxin), and RubB (rubredoxin reductase) were induced by both n-hexadecane and n-triacontane, which were chosen as representative long-chain liquid and solid n-alkane molecules, respectively. Biotransformation of n-hexadecane into the corresponding 1-hexadecanol was detected by solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME/GC-MS) analysis. The Gordonia SoCg alkB was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 and in Streptomyces coelicolor M145, and both hosts acquired the ability to transform n-hexadecane into 1-hexadecanol, but the corresponding long-chain alcohol was never detected on n-triacontane. However, the recombinant S. coelicolor M145-AH, expressing the Gordonia alkB gene, was able to grow on n-triacontane as the sole C source. A SoCg alkB disruption mutant that is completely unable to grow on n-triacontane was obtained, demonstrating the role of an AlkB-type AH system in degradation of solid n-alkanes.