Carbon Source-Dependent Inducible Metabolism of Veratryl Alcohol and Ferulic Acid in Pseudomonas putida CSV86

Karishma Mohan, Prashant S Phale
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2017 April 15, 83 (8)
Pseudomonas putida CSV86 degrades lignin-derived metabolic intermediates, viz , veratryl alcohol, ferulic acid, vanillin, and vanillic acid, as the sole sources of carbon and energy. Strain CSV86 also degraded lignin sulfonate. Cell respiration, enzyme activity, biotransformation, and high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses suggest that veratryl alcohol and ferulic acid are metabolized to vanillic acid by two distinct carbon source-dependent inducible pathways. Vanillic acid was further metabolized to protocatechuic acid and entered the central carbon pathway via the β-ketoadipate route after ortho ring cleavage. Genes encoding putative enzymes involved in the degradation were found to be present at fer , ver , and van loci. The transcriptional analysis suggests a carbon source-dependent cotranscription of these loci, substantiating the metabolic studies. Biochemical and quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR studies revealed the presence of two distinct O -demethylases, viz , VerAB and VanAB, involved in the oxidative demethylation of veratric acid and vanillic acid, respectively. This report describes the various steps involved in metabolizing lignin-derived aromatic compounds at the biochemical level and identifies the genes involved in degrading veratric acid and the arrangement of phenylpropanoid metabolic genes as three distinct inducible transcription units/operons. This study provides insight into the bacterial degradation of lignin-derived aromatics and the potential of P. putida CSV86 as a suitable candidate for producing valuable products. IMPORTANCE Pseudomonas putida CSV86 metabolizes lignin and its metabolic intermediates as a carbon source. Strain CSV86 displays a unique property of preferential utilization of aromatics, including for phenylpropanoids over glucose. This report unravels veratryl alcohol metabolism and genes encoding veratric acid O -demethylase, hitherto unknown in pseudomonads, thereby providing new insight into the metabolic pathway and gene pool for lignin degradation in bacteria. The biochemical and genetic characterization of phenylpropanoid metabolism makes it a prospective system for its application in producing valuable products, such as vanillin and vanillic acid, from lignocellulose. This study supports the immense potential of P. putida CSV86 as a suitable candidate for bioremediation and biorefinery.


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