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Oxidation of monohalogenated ethanes and n-chlorinated alkanes by whole cells of Nitrosomonas europaea.

By M E Rasche, R E Hicks, M R Hyman and D J Arp


We have investigated the substrate specificity of ammonia monooxygenase in whole cells of the nitrifying bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea for a number of aliphatic halogenated hydrocarbons. To determine the effect of the halogen substituent and carbon chain length on substrate reactivity, we measured the rates of oxidation of the monohalogenated ethanes (fluoroethane, chloroethane, bromoethane, and iodoethane) and n-chlorinated C1 to C4 alkanes by whole cells of N. europaea. For monohalogenated ethanes, acetaldehyde was the major organic product and little or none of any of the alternate predicted products (2-halogenated alcohols) were detected. The maximum rate of haloethane oxidation increased with decreasing halogen molecular weight from iodoethane to chloroethane (19 to 221 nmol/min per mg of protein). In addition, the amount of substrate required for the highest rate of haloethane oxidation increased with decreasing halogen molecular weight. For the n-chlorinated alkanes, the rate of dechlorination, as measured by the appearance of the corresponding aldehyde product, was greatest for chloroethane and decreased dramatically for chloropropane and chlorobutane (118, 4, and 8 nmol of aldehyde formed per min per mg of protein, respectively). The concentration profiles for halocarbon oxidation by ammonia monooxygenase showed apparent substrate inhibition when ammonia was used as the reductant source. When hydrazine was used as the electron donor, no substrate inhibition was observed, suggesting that the inhibition resulted from reductant limitation

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1990
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.172.9.5368-5373.1990
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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