College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5C9, Canada
Pentachlorophenol 4-monooxygenase (PcpB) catalyzes the hydroxylation of pentachlorophenol in the pentachlorophenol biodegradation pathway in Sphingobium chlorophenolicum. Previous studies from two different research groups proposed oppositely that the catalytic product of PcpB was tetrachlorohydroquinone (TCHQ) and tetrachlorobenzoquinone (TCBQ). We re-examined the identity of the catalytic product of PcpB, because TCHQ and TCBQ are present in a redox-equilibrium in aqueous solutions and the chemical reagents NADPH, ethyl acetate and glutathione used for the product detection in the previous studies may shift the redox-equilibrium. In this study, we investigated the effects of NADPH, ethyl acetate and glutathione on the redox-equilibrium and product distribution. Under newly designed experimental conditions, we confirmed unambiguously that the catalytic product of PcpB is TCHQ instead of TCBQ. We also propose that TCBQ may be produced non-specifically by peroxidases within the bacterial cells and that TCBQ reductase (PcpD) might act as a self-protective rather than a PCP-degradation enzyme.
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