Desulfitobacterium chlororespirans Co23 is capable of using 3-chloro-4-hydroxybenzoate as terminal electron acceptor for growth. Membrane preparations from cells grown fermentatively on pyruvate in the presence of 3-chloro-4-hydroxybenzoate dechlorinated this compound at a rate of 3.9 nmol min(sup-1) mg of protein(sup-1). Fivefold-greater dechlorination rates were measured with reduced methyl viologen as the artificial electron donor. Reduced benzyl viologen, NADH, NADPH, reduced flavin adenine dinucleotide, and reduced flavin mononucleotide could not substitute for reduced methyl viologen. The maximal initial rate of catalysis was achieved at pH 6.5 and 60(deg)C. The membrane-bound dechlorinating enzyme system was not oxygen sensitive and was stable at 57(deg)C for at least 2 h. Sulfite inhibited dechlorination in cell-free assays, whereas sulfate did not. Several chlorophenols were dehalogenated exclusively in the ortho position by cell extracts
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