1. An organism isolated from sewage and identified as an Alcaligenes sp. utilized benzenesulphonate, toluene-p-sulphonate or phenylethane-p-sulphonate as sole source of carbon and energy for growth. Higher alkylbenzenesulphonate homologues and the hydrocarbons, benzene, toluene, phenylethane and 1-phenyldodecane were not utilized. 2. 2-Phenylpropanesulphonate was metabolized to 4-isopropylcatechol. 3. 1-Phenylpropanesulphonate was metabolized to an ortho-diol, which was tentatively identified, in the absence of an authentic specimen, as 4-n-propylcatechol. 4. In the presence of 4-isopropylcatechol, which inhibited catechol 2,3-dioxygenase, 4-ethylcatechol accumulated in cultures growing on phenylethane-p-sulphonate. 5. Authentic samples of catechol, 3-methylcatechol, 4-methylcatechol, 4-ethylcatechol and 3-isopropylcatechol were oxidized by heat-treated extracts to the corresponding 2-hydroxyalkylmuconic semialdehydes. Ring cleavage occurred between C-2 and C-3. 6. The catechol derived from 1-phenylpropanesulphonate was oxygenated by catechol 2,3-dioxygenase to a compound with all the properties of a 2-hydroxyalkylmuconic semialdehyde, but it was not rigorously identified. 7. The catechol 2,3-dioxygenase induced by growth on benzenesulphonate, toluene-p-sulphonate or phenylethane-p-sulphonate showed a constant ratio of specific activities with catechol, 3-methylcatechol, 4-methylcatechol and 4-ethylcatechol that was independent of the growth substrate. At 60°C, activity towards these substrates declined at an identical first-order rate. 8. Enzymes of the ‘ortho’ pathway of catechol metabolism were present in small amounts in cells grown on benzenesulphonate, toluene-p-sulphonate or phenylethane-p-sulphonate. 9. The catechol 1,2-dioxygenase oxidized the alkylcatechols, but the rates and the total extents of oxidation were less than for catechol itself. The oxidation products of these alkylcatechols were not further metabolized.
Microbial degradation of alkylbenzenesulphonates. Metabolism of homologues of short alkyl-chain length by an Alcaligenes sp
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J. Anthony Bird, Ronald B. Cain; Microbial degradation of alkylbenzenesulphonates. Metabolism of homologues of short alkyl-chain length by an Alcaligenes sp. Biochem J 15 May 1974; 140 (2): 121–134. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj1400121
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