Amphoteric surfactant N-oleoyl-N-methyltaurine utilized by Pseudomonas alcaligenes with excretion of N-methyltaurine

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Nov;288(1):112-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01341.x.


The amphoteric surfactant N-oleoyl-N-methyltaurine, which is in use in skin-care products, was utilized by aerobic bacteria as the sole source of carbon or of nitrogen in enrichment cultures. One isolate, which was identified as Pseudomonas alcaligenes, grew with the xenobiotic compound as the sole source of carbon and energy. The sulfonate moiety, N-methyltaurine, was excreted quantitatively during growth, while the fatty acid was dissimilated. The initial degradative reaction was shown to be hydrolytic and inducible. This amidase reaction could be demonstrated with crude cell extracts. The excreted N-methyltaurine could be utilized by other bacteria in cocultures. Complete degradation of similar natural compounds in bacterial communities seems likely.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amidohydrolases / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pseudomonas alcaligenes / enzymology
  • Pseudomonas alcaligenes / isolation & purification
  • Pseudomonas alcaligenes / metabolism*
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry
  • Surface-Active Agents / metabolism*
  • Taurine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Taurine / chemistry
  • Taurine / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Taurine
  • metaupon
  • Amidohydrolases
  • amidase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/Z76653