Sulfoacetate released during the assimilation of taurine-nitrogen by Neptuniibacter caesariensis: purification of sulfoacetaldehyde dehydrogenase

Arch Microbiol. 2008 Aug;190(2):159-68. doi: 10.1007/s00203-008-0386-2. Epub 2008 May 28.


Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonate) is a widespread natural product whose nitrogen moiety was recently shown to be assimilated by bacteria, usually with excretion of an organosulfonate via undefined novel pathways; other data involve transcriptional regulator TauR in taurine metabolism. A screen of genome sequences for TauR with the BLAST algorithm allowed the hypothesis that the marine gammaproteobacterium Neptuniibacter caesariensis MED92 would inducibly assimilate taurine-nitrogen and excrete sulfoacetate. The pathway involved an ABC transporter (TauABC), taurine:pyruvate aminotransferase (Tpa), a novel sulfoacetaldehyde dehydrogenase (SafD) and exporter(s) of sulfoacetate (SafE) (DUF81). Ten candidate genes in two clusters involved three sets of paralogues (for TauR, Tpa and SafE). Inducible Tpa and SafD were detected in cell extracts. SafD was purified 600-fold to homogeneity in two steps. The monomer had a molecular mass of 50 kDa (SDS-PAGE); data from gel filtration chromatography indicated a tetrameric native protein. SafD was specific for sulfoacetaldehyde with a K (m)-value of 0.12 mM. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of SafD confirmed the identity of the safD gene. The eight pathway genes were transcribed inducibly, which indicated expression of the whole hypothetical pathway. We presume that this pathway is one source of sulfoacetate in nature, where this compound is dissimilated by many bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaldehyde / analogs & derivatives*
  • Acetaldehyde / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Oceanospirillaceae / enzymology*
  • Oceanospirillaceae / genetics
  • Oceanospirillaceae / growth & development
  • Oceanospirillaceae / metabolism
  • Oxidoreductases / chemistry
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases / isolation & purification*
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Taurine / analogs & derivatives
  • Taurine / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Taurine
  • sulfoacetaldehyde
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Nitrogen