Biochemical, transcriptional and translational evidences of the phenol-meta-degradation pathway by the hyperthermophilic Sulfolobus solfataricus 98/2.
Comte A, Christen P, Davidson S, Pophillat M, Lorquin J, Auria R, Casalot L
Phenol is a widespread pollutant and a model molecule to study the biodegradation of monoaromatic compounds. After a first oxidation step leading to catechol in mesophilic and thermophilic microorganisms, two main routes have been identified depending on the cleavage of the aromatic ring: ortho involving a catechol 1,2 dioxygenase (C12D) and meta involving a catechol 2,3 dioxygenase (C23D). Our work aimed at elucidating the phenol-degradation pathway in the hyperthermophilic archaea Sulfolobus solfataricus 98/2. For this purpose, the strain was cultivated in a fermentor under different substrate and oxygenation conditions. Indeed, reducing dissolved-oxygen concentration allowed slowing down phenol catabolism (specific growth and phenol-consumption rates dropped 55% and 39%, respectively) and thus, evidencing intermediate accumulations in the broth. HPLC/Diode Array Detector and LC-MS analyses on culture samples at low dissolved-oxygen concentration (DOC = 0.06 mg x L(-1)) suggested, apart for catechol, the presence of 2-hydroxymuconic acid, 4-oxalocrotonate and 4-hydroxy-2-oxovalerate, three intermediates of the meta route. RT-PCR analysis on oxygenase-coding genes of S. solfataricus 98/2 showed that the gene coding for the C23D was expressed only on phenol. In 2D-DIGE/MALDI-TOF analysis, the C23D was found and identified only on phenol. This set of results allowed us concluding that S. solfataricus 98/2 degrade phenol through the meta route.Lire l‘article