Degradation of 2-chlorobenzoate by Pseudomonas cepacia 2CBS

Biol Chem Hoppe Seyler. 1989 Nov;370(11):1173-82. doi: 10.1515/bchm3.1989.370.2.1173.


A bacterium was isolated from water by enrichment on 2-chlorobenzoate as sole source of carbon and energy. Based on morphological and physiological properties, this microorganism was assigned to the species Pseudomonas cepacia. The organism was designated Pseudomonas cepacia 2CBS. During growth on 2-chlorobenzoate, the chlorine substituent was released quantitatively, and a small amount of 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate accumulated in the culture medium. Mutants of Pseudomonas cepacia 2CBS were induced by treatment with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Some of these mutants produced catechol from 2-chlorobenzoate. Other mutants accumulated the meta-cleavage product of catechol, 2-hydroxy-cis,cis-muconic acid semialdehyde. In crude cell-free extracts of Pseudomonas cepacia 2CBS, an enzyme was detected which catalysed the conversion of 2-chlorobenzoate to catechol. Molecular oxygen, NADH and exogenous Fe2+ were required for activity. Stoichiometric amounts of chloride were released. Experiments with 18O2 revealed that both oxygen atoms in the hydroxyl groups of the product were derived from molecular oxygen. Thus, the enzyme catalysing the conversion of 2-chlorobenzoate was identified as 2-chlorobenzoate 1,2-dioxygenase (1,2-hydroxylating, dehalogenating, decarboxylating). 2-Chlorobenzoate 1,2-dioxygenase from Pseudomonas cepacia 2CBS was shown to be a multicomponent enzyme system. The activities of catechol 2,3-dioxygenase and catechol 1,2-dioxygenase were detected in crude cell-free extracts. The activity of catechol 2,3-dioxygenase was 60 times higher than the activity of catechol 1,2-dioxygenase, indicating that catechol is mainly degraded via meta-cleavage in Pseudomonas cepacia 2CBS. No enzyme was found which converted 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate, suggesting that this compound is a dead-end metabolite of 2-chlorobenzoate catabolism. A pathway for the degradation of 2-chlorobenzoate by Pseudomonas cepacia 2CBS is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catechols / metabolism
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Chlorobenzoates / metabolism*
  • Hydroxybenzoates / metabolism
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas / classification
  • Pseudomonas / enzymology
  • Pseudomonas / metabolism*


  • Catechols
  • Chlorobenzoates
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid
  • 2-chlorobenzoic acid