The nucleotide sequences of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus benABC genes encoding a multicomponent oxygenase for the conversion of benzoate to a nonaromatic cis-diol were determined. The enzyme, benzoate 1,2-dioxygenase, is composed of a hydroxylase component, encoded by benAB, and an electron transfer component, encoded by benC. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of BenABC with related sequences, including those for the multicomponent toluate, toluene, benzene, and naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenases, indicated that the similarly sized subunits of the hydroxylase components were derived from a common ancestor. Conserved cysteine and histidine residues may bind a [2Fe-2S] Rieske-type cluster to the alpha-subunits of all the hydroxylases. Conserved histidines and tyrosines may coordinate a mononuclear Fe(II) ion. The less conserved beta-subunits of the hydroxylases may be responsible for determining substrate specificity. Each dioxygenase had either one or two electron transfer proteins. The electron transfer component of benzoate dioxygenase, encoded by benC, and the corresponding protein of the toluate 1,2-dioxygenase, encoded by xylZ, were each found to have an N-terminal region which resembled chloroplast-type ferredoxins and a C-terminal region which resembled several oxidoreductases. These BenC and XylZ proteins had regions similar to certain monooxygenase components but did not appear to be evolutionarily related to the two-protein electron transfer systems of the benzene, toluene, and naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenases. Regions of possible NAD and flavin adenine dinucleotide binding were identified
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