Biochemical and genetic analyses of ferulic acid catabolism in Pseudomonas sp. Strain HR199

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Nov;65(11):4837-47. doi: 10.1128/AEM.65.11.4837-4847.1999.


The gene loci fcs, encoding feruloyl coenzyme A (feruloyl-CoA) synthetase, ech, encoding enoyl-CoA hydratase/aldolase, and aat, encoding beta-ketothiolase, which are involved in the catabolism of ferulic acid and eugenol in Pseudomonas sp. strain HR199 (DSM7063), were localized on a DNA region covered by two EcoRI fragments (E230 and E94), which were recently cloned from a Pseudomonas sp. strain HR199 genomic library in the cosmid pVK100. The nucleotide sequences of parts of fragments E230 and E94 were determined, revealing the arrangement of the aforementioned genes. To confirm the function of the structural genes fcs and ech, they were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Recombinant strains harboring both genes were able to transform ferulic acid to vanillin. The feruloyl-CoA synthetase and enoyl-CoA hydratase/aldolase activities of the fcs and ech gene products, respectively, were confirmed by photometric assays and by high-pressure liquid chromatography analysis. To prove the essential involvement of the fcs, ech, and aat genes in the catabolism of ferulic acid and eugenol in Pseudomonas sp. strain HR199, these genes were inactivated separately by the insertion of omega elements. The corresponding mutants Pseudomonas sp. strain HRfcsOmegaGm and Pseudomonas sp. strain HRechOmegaKm were not able to grow on ferulic acid or on eugenol, whereas the mutant Pseudomonas sp. strain HRaatOmegaKm exhibited a ferulic acid- and eugenol-positive phenotype like the wild type. In conclusion, the degradation pathway of eugenol via ferulic acid and the necessity of the activation of ferulic acid to the corresponding CoA ester was confirmed. The aat gene product was shown not to be involved in this catabolism, thus excluding a beta-oxidation analogous degradation pathway for ferulic acid. Moreover, the function of the ech gene product as an enoyl-CoA hydratase/aldolase suggests that ferulic acid degradation in Pseudomonas sp. strain HR199 proceeds via a similar pathway to that recently described for Pseudomonas fluorescens AN103.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl-CoA C-Acyltransferase / genetics*
  • Acetyl-CoA C-Acyltransferase / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / chemistry
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / genetics*
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / metabolism
  • Coumaric Acids / metabolism*
  • Deoxyribonuclease EcoRI
  • Enoyl-CoA Hydratase / genetics*
  • Enoyl-CoA Hydratase / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Eugenol / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Nitrosoguanidines
  • Pseudomonas / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Coumaric Acids
  • Nitrosoguanidines
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Eugenol
  • ferulic acid
  • Acetyl-CoA C-Acyltransferase
  • Deoxyribonuclease EcoRI
  • Enoyl-CoA Hydratase
  • Coenzyme A Ligases
  • feruloyl-coenzyme A synthetase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ238746