Oxidation of biphenyl and nine chlorinated biphenyls (CBs) by the biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. strain LB400 was examined. The purified terminal oxygenase required the addition of partially purified electron transport components, NAD(P)H, and ferrous iron to oxidize biphenyl and CBs. cis-Biphenyl 2,3-dihydrodiol was produced with biphenyl as the substrate. Dihydrodiols were produced from all CBs, and more than one compound was produced with most substrates. Catechols were produced when the dioxygenase-catalyzed reaction occurred at the 2,3 position of a 2-chlorophenyl ring, resulting in dechlorination of the substrate. Oxidation at the 3,4 position of a 2,5-dichlorophenyl ring produced a 3,4-dihydrodiol. Compounds resulting from both types of reaction were produced during oxidation of 2,5,2'-trichlorobiphenyl. The broad substrate specificity and the ability to oxidize at different ring positions suggest that the biphenyl 2,3-dioxygenase is responsible for the wide range of CBs oxidized by Pseudomonas sp. strain LB400
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