Microbial metabolism of reduced phosphorus compounds.
ABSTRACT The field of bacterial phosphorus (P) metabolism has undergone a significant transformation in the past decade owing to the elucidation of widespread and diverse pathways for the metabolism of reduced P compounds. The characterization of these pathways dramatically changes the current and narrow view of P metabolism and our understanding of the forms in which P is produced and available in the environment. In this review, recent investigations into the biochemical pathways and molecular genetics of reduced P metabolism in bacteria are discussed. Particular attention is paid to recently elucidated metabolic reactions and the genetic characterization of biosynthesis of organic reduced P compounds and to the pathways for oxidation of the inorganic reduced P compounds hypophosphite and phosphite.
Article: Five phosphonate operon gene products as components of a multi-subunit complex of the carbon-phosphorus lyase pathway.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Organophosphonate utilization by Escherichia coli requires the 14 cistrons of the phnCDEFGHIJKLMNOP operon, of which the carbon-phosphorus lyase has been postulated to consist of the seven polypeptides specified by phnG to phnM. A 5,660-bp DNA fragment encompassing phnGHIJKLM is cloned, followed by expression in E. coli and purification of Phn-polypeptides. PhnG, PhnH, PhnI, PhnJ, and PhnK copurify as a protein complex by ion-exchange, size-exclusion, and affinity chromatography. The five polypeptides also comigrate in native-PAGE. Cross-linking of the purified protein complex reveals a close proximity of PhnG, PhnI, PhnJ, and PhnK, as these subunits disappear concomitant with the formation of large cross-linked protein complexes. Two molecular forms are identified, a major form of molecular mass of approximately 260 kDa, a minor form of approximately 640 kDa. The stoichiometry of the protein complex is suggested to be PhnG(4)H(2)I(2)J(2)K. Deletion of individual phn genes reveals that a strain harboring plasmid-borne phnGHIJ produces a protein complex consisting of PhnG, PhnH, PhnI, and PhnJ, whereas a strain harboring plasmid-borne phnGIJK produces a protein complex consisting of PhnG and PhnI. We conclude that phnGHIJK specify a soluble multisubunit protein complex essential for organophosphonate utilization.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2011; 108(28):11393-8. · 9.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Phosphorus is an essential element for all known forms of life. In living systems, phosphorus is an integral component of nucleic acids, carbohydrates and phospholipids, where it is incorporated as a derivative of phosphate. However, most Gram-negative bacteria have the capability to use phosphonates as a nutritional source of phosphorus under conditions of phosphate starvation. In these organisms, methylphosphonate is converted to phosphate and methane. In a formal sense, this transformation is a hydrolytic cleavage of a carbon-phosphorus (C-P) bond, but a general enzymatic mechanism for the activation and conversion of alkylphosphonates to phosphate and an alkane has not been elucidated despite much effort for more than two decades. The actual mechanism for C-P bond cleavage is likely to be a radical-based transformation. In Escherichia coli, the catalytic machinery for the C-P lyase reaction has been localized to the phn gene cluster. This operon consists of the 14 genes phnC, phnD, …, phnP. Genetic and biochemical experiments have demonstrated that the genes phnG, phnH, …, phnM encode proteins that are essential for the conversion of phosphonates to phosphate and that the proteins encoded by the other genes in the operon have auxiliary functions. There are no functional annotations for any of the seven proteins considered essential for C-P bond cleavage. Here we show that methylphosphonate reacts with MgATP to form α-D-ribose-1-methylphosphonate-5-triphosphate (RPnTP) and adenine. The triphosphate moiety of RPnTP is hydrolysed to pyrophosphate and α-D-ribose-1-methylphosphonate-5-phosphate (PRPn). The C-P bond of PRPn is subsequently cleaved in a radical-based reaction producing α-D-ribose-1,2-cyclic-phosphate-5-phosphate and methane in the presence of S-adenosyl-L-methionine. Substantial quantities of phosphonates are produced worldwide for industrial processes, detergents, herbicides and pharmaceuticals. Our elucidation of the chemical steps for the biodegradation of alkylphosphonates shows how these compounds can be metabolized and recycled to phosphate.Nature 11/2011; 480(7378):570-3. · 36.28 Impact Factor