Metabolism of isovanillate, vanillate, and veratrate by Comamonas testosteroni strain BR6020

J Bacteriol. 2006 Jun;188(11):3862-9. doi: 10.1128/JB.01675-05.


In Comamonas testosteroni strain BR6020, metabolism of isovanillate (iVan; 3-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzoate), vanillate (Van; 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoate), and veratrate (Ver; 3,4-dimethoxybenzoate) proceeds via protocatechuate (Pca; 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate). A 13.4-kb locus coding for the catabolic enzymes that channel the three substrates to Pca was cloned. O demethylation is mediated by the phthalate family oxygenases IvaA (converts iVan to Pca and Ver to Van) and VanA (converts Van to Pca and Ver to iVan). Reducing equivalents from NAD(P)H are transferred to the oxygenases by the class IA oxidoreductase IvaB. Studies using whole cells, cell extracts, and reverse transcriptase PCR showed that degradative activity and expression of vanA, ivaA, and ivaB are inducible. In succinate- and Pca-grown cells, there is negligible degradative activity towards Van, Ver, and iVan and little to no expression of vanA, ivaA, and ivaB. Growth on Van or Ver results in production of oxygenases with activity towards Van, Ver, and iVan and expression of vanA, ivaA, and ivaB. With iVan-grown cultures, ivaA and ivaB are expressed, and in assays with whole cells, production of the iVan oxygenase is observed, but there is little activity towards Van or Ver. In cell extracts, though, Ver metabolism is observed, which suggests that the system mediating iVan uptake in whole cells does not mediate Ver uptake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Comamonas testosteroni / genetics
  • Comamonas testosteroni / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers
  • Genotype
  • Hydroxybenzoates / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Vanillic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vanillic Acid / metabolism*


  • DNA Primers
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • veratric acid
  • protocatechuic acid
  • isovanillic acid
  • Vanillic Acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY705372