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Sequential Transhydroxylations Converting Hydroxyhydroquinone to Phloroglucinol in the Strictly Anaerobic, Fermentative Bacterium Pelobacter massiliensis

By Andreas Brune, Sylvia Schnell and Bernhard Schink

Abstract

The recently isolated fermenting bacterium Pelobacter massiliensis is the only strict anaerobe known to grow on hydroxyhydroquinone (1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene) as the sole source of carbon and energy, converting it to stoichiometric amounts of acetate. In this paper, we report on the enzymatic reactions involved in the conversion of hydroxyhydroquinone and pyrogallol (1,2,3-trihydroxybenzene) to phloroglucinol (1,3,5-trihydroxybenzene). Cell extracts of P. massiliensis transhydroxylate pyrogallol to phloroglucinol after addition of 1,2,3,5-tetrahydroxybenzene (1,2,3,5-TTHB) as cosubstrate in a reaction identical to that found earlier with Pelobacter acidigallici (A. Brune and B. Schink, J. Bacteriol. 172:1070-1076, 1990). Hydroxyhydroquinone conversion to phloroglucinol is initiated in cell extracts without an external addition of cosubstrates. It involves a minimum of three consecutive transhydroxylation reactions characterized by the transient accumulation of two different TTHB isomers. Chemical synthesis of the TTHB intermediates allowed the resolution of the distinct transhydroxylation steps in this sequence. In an initial transhydroxylation, the hydroxyl group in the 1-position of a molecule of hydroxyhydroquinone is transferred to the 5-position of another molecule of hydroxyhydroquinone to give 1,2,4,5-TTHB and resorcinol (1,3-dihydroxybenzene) as products. Following this disproportionation of hydroxyhydroquinone, the 1,2,4,5-isomer is converted to 1,2,3,5-TTHB, an enzymatic activity present only in hydroxyhydroquinone-grown cells. Finally, phloroglucinol is formed from 1,2,3,5-TTHB by transfer of the 2-hydroxyl group to either hydroxyhydroquinone or resorcinol. The resulting coproducts are again cosubstrates in earlier reactions of this sequence. From the spectrum of hydroxybenzenes transhydroxylated by the cell extracts, the minimum structural prerequisites that render a hydroxybenzene a hydroxyl donor or acceptor are deduced

Topics: Physiology and Biotechnology
Year: 1992
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:195696
Provided by: PubMed Central
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