Methylibium petroleiphilum strain PM1 uses various petroleum products including the fuel additive methyl tert-butyl ether and straight chain and aromatic hydrocarbons as sole carbon and energy sources. It has two operons, dmpI and dmpII, that code for the enzymes in a pair of parallel meta-fission pathways. In order to understand the roles of the pathways, the 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase (4-OT) isozyme from each pathway was characterized. Tautomerase I and tautomerase II have the lowest pairwise sequence identity (35%) among the isozyme pairs in the parallel pathways, and could offer insight into substrate preferences and pathway functions. The kinetic parameters of tautomerase I and tautomerase II were determined using 2-hydroxymuconate and 5-(methyl)-2- hydroxymuconate. Both tautomerase I and tautomerase II process the substrates, but with different efficiencies. Crystal structures were determined for both tautomerase I and tautomerase II, at 1.57 and 1.64 Å resolution, respectively. The backbones of tautomerase I and tautomerase II are highly similar, but have distinct active site environments. The results, in combination with those for other structurally and kinetically characterized 4-OT isozymes, suggest that tautomerase I catalyzes the tautomerization of both 2-hydroxymuconate and alkyl derivatives, whereas tautomerase II might specialize in other aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant GM-41239 (C.P.W.) and Robert A. Welch Foundation Grant F-1334 (C.P.W.). Instrumentation and technical assistance for this work were provided by the Macromolecular Crystallography Facility, with financial support from the College of Natural Sciences, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, the University of Texas at Austin.
- Methylibium petroleiphilum
- X-ray crystallography