Organization and regulation of pentachlorophenol-degrading genes in Sphingobium chlorophenolicum ATCC 39723.
The first three enzymes of the pentachlorophenol (PCP) degradation pathway in Sphingobium chlorophenolicum (formerly Sphingomonas chlorophenolica) ATCC 39723 have been characterized, and the corresponding genes, pcpA, pcpB, and pcpC, have been individually cloned and sequenced. To search for new genes involved in PCP degradation and map the physical locations of the pcp genes, a 24-kb fragment containing pcpA and pcpC was completely sequenced. A putative LysR-type transcriptional regulator gene, pcpM, and a maleylacetate reductase gene, pcpE, were identified upstream of pcpA. pcpE was found to play a role in PCP degradation. pcpB was not found on the 24-kb fragment. The four gene products PcpB, PcpC, PcpA, and PcpE were responsible for the metabolism of PCP to 3-oxoadipate in ATCC 39723, and inactivational mutation of each gene disrupted the degradation pathway. The organization of the pcp genes is unusual because the four PCP-degrading genes, pcpA, pcpB, pcpC, and pcpE, were found to be located at four discrete locations. Two hypothetical LysR-type regulator genes, pcpM and pcpR, have been identified; pcpM was not required, but pcpR was essential for the induction of pcpB, pcpA, and pcpE. The coinducers of PcpR were PCP and other polychlorinated phenols. The expression of pcpC was constitutive. Thus, the organization and regulation of the genes involved in PCP degradation to 3-oxoadipate were documented.