Pseudomonas putida GJ31 has been reported to grow on chlorobenzene using a meta-cleavage pathway with chlorocatechol 2,3-dioxygenase (CbzE) as a key enzyme. The CbzE-encoding gene was found to be localized on the 180 kb plasmid pKW1 in a cbzTEXGS cluster, which is flanked by transposases and encodes only a partial (chloro)catechol meta-cleavage pathway comprising ferredoxin reductase, chlorocatechol 2,3-dioxygenase, an unknown protein, 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione S-transferase. Downstream of cbzTEXGS are located cbzJ, encoding a novel type of 2-hydroxypent-2,4-dienoate hydratase, and a transposon region highly similar to Tn5501. Upstream of cbzTEXGS, traNEOFG transfer genes were found. The search for gene clusters possibly completing the (chloro)catechol metabolic pathway of GJ31 revealed the presence of two additional catabolic gene clusters on pKW1. The mhpRBCDFETP cluster encodes enzymes for the dissimilation of 2,3-dihydroxyphenylpropionate in a novel arrangement characterized by the absence of a gene encoding 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)propionate monooxygenase and the presence of a GntR-type regulator, whereas the nahINLOMKJ cluster encodes part of the naphthalene metabolic pathway. Transcription studies supported their possible involvement in chlorobenzene degradation. The upper pathway cluster, comprising genes encoding a chlorobenzene dioxygenase and a chlorobenzene dihydrodiol dehydrogenase, was localized on the chromosome. A high level of transcription in response to chlorobenzene revealed it to be crucial for chlorobenzene degradation. The chlorobenzene degradation pathway in strain GJ31 is thus a mosaic encoded by four gene clusters.
The metabolism of monocarboxylic acids is of central importance for bacteria in their natural habitat as well as during biotechnological production. Although biosynthesis and degradation are well understood, the transport of such compounds is still a matter of discussion. Here we present the identification and characterization of a new transport system in Corynebacterium glutamicum with high affinity for acetate and propionate and with lower affinity for pyruvate. Biochemical analysis of this monocarboxylic acid transporter (MctC) revealed for the first time a quantitative discrimination of passive diffusion and active transport of acetate by bacterial cells. MctC is a secondary transporter and belongs to the class of sodium solute symporters, but it is driven by the electrochemical proton potential. The mctC gene is preceded by and cotranscribed with cg0952, a locus encoding a small membrane protein, and the transcription of the cg0952-mctC operon is under the control of the transcriptional regulators RamA and RamB. Both of these proteins directly bind to the promoter region of the operon; RamA is essential for expression and RamB exerts a slightly negative control on expression of the cg0952-mctC operon. mctC expression is induced in the presence of pyruvate and beneficial under substrate-limiting conditions for C. glutamicum.