Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Oxidation of Methyl tert-Butyl Ether by Alkane Hydroxylase in Dicyclopropylketone-Induced and n-Octane-Grown Pseudomonas putida GPo1

By Christy A. Smith and Michael R. Hyman


The alkane hydroxylase enzyme system in Pseudomonas putida GPo1 has previously been reported to be unreactive toward the gasoline oxygenate methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). We have reexamined this finding by using cells of strain GPo1 grown in rich medium containing dicyclopropylketone (DCPK), a potent gratuitous inducer of alkane hydroxylase activity. Cells grown with DCPK oxidized MTBE and generated stoichiometric quantities of tert-butyl alcohol (TBA). Cells grown in the presence of DCPK also oxidized tert-amyl methyl ether but did not appear to oxidize either TBA, ethyl tert-butyl ether, or tert-amyl alcohol. Evidence linking MTBE oxidation to alkane hydroxylase activity was obtained through several approaches. First, no TBA production from MTBE was observed with cells of strain GPo1 grown on rich medium without DCPK. Second, no TBA production from MTBE was observed in DCPK-treated cells of P. putida GPo12, a strain that lacks the alkane-hydroxylase-encoding OCT plasmid. Third, all n-alkanes that support the growth of strain GPo1 inhibited MTBE oxidation by DCPK-treated cells. Fourth, two non-growth-supporting n-alkanes (propane and n-butane) inhibited MTBE oxidation in a saturable, concentration-dependent process. Fifth, 1,7-octadiyne, a putative mechanism-based inactivator of alkane hydroxylase, fully inhibited TBA production from MTBE. Sixth, MTBE-oxidizing activity was also observed in n-octane-grown cells. Kinetic studies with strain GPo1 grown on n-octane or rich medium with DCPK suggest that MTBE-oxidizing activity may have previously gone undetected in n-octane-grown cells because of the unusually high K(s) value (20 to 40 mM) for MTBE

Topics: Biodegradation
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1128/AEM.70.8.4544-4550.2004
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.