A monooxygenase catalyzes sequential dechlorinations of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol by oxidative and hydrolytic reactions

J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 20;279(8):6696-700. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M312072200. Epub 2003 Dec 7.


Ralstonia eutropha JMP134 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) 4-monooxygenase catalyzes sequential dechlorinations of 2,4,6-TCP to 6-chlorohydroxyquinol. Although 2,6-dichlorohydroxyquinol is a logical metabolic intermediate, the enzyme hardly uses it as a substrate, implying it may not be a true intermediate. Evidence is provided to support the proposition that the monooxygenase oxidized 2,4,6-TCP to 2,6-dichloroquinone that remained with the enzyme and got hydrolyzed to 2-chlorohydroxyquinone, which was chemically reduced by ascorbate and NADH to 6-chlorohydroxyquinol. When the monooxygenase oxidized 2,6-dichlorophenol, the product was 2,6-dichloroquinol, which was not further converted to 6-chlorohydroxyquinol, implying that the enzyme only converts 2,6-dichloroquinone to 6-chlorohydroxyquinol. Stoichiometric analysis indicated the consumption of one O2 molecule per 2,4,6-TCP converted to 6-chlorohydroxyquinol, ruling out the possibility of two oxidative reactions. Experiments with 18O-labeling gave direct evidence for the incorporation of oxygen from both O2 and H2O into the produced 6-chlorohydroxyquinol. A monooxygenase that catalyzes hydroxylation by both oxidative and hydrolytic reactions has not been reported to date. The ability of the enzyme to perform two types of reactions is not due to the presence of a second functional domain but rather is due to catalytic promiscuity, as a homologous monooxygenase converts 2,4,6-TCP to only 2,6-dichloroquinol. Employing both conventional catalysis and catalytic promiscuity of a single enzyme in two consecutive steps of a metabolic pathway has been unknown previously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Catalysis
  • Chlorophenols / chemistry*
  • Chloroquinolinols / chemistry
  • Cupriavidus necator / enzymology*
  • Fimbriae Proteins / chemistry
  • Hydrolysis
  • Hydroquinones / chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / chemistry*
  • Models, Chemical
  • NAD / chemistry
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Water / chemistry


  • 6-chlorohydroxyquinol
  • Chlorophenols
  • Chloroquinolinols
  • Hydroquinones
  • TcpA protein, Vibrio cholerae
  • Water
  • NAD
  • Fimbriae Proteins
  • chloroxine
  • 2,4,6-trichlorophenol monooxygenase
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • 2,4,6-trichlorophenol
  • Oxygen