Identification of the key amino acid sites of the carbofuran hydrolase CehA from a newly isolated carbofuran-degrading strain Sphingbium sp. CFD-1

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2020 Feb;189:109938. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.109938. Epub 2019 Nov 20.


A novel carbofuran-degrading strain CFD-1 was isolated and preliminarily identified as Sphingbium sp. This strain was able to utilize carbofuran as the sole carbon source for growth. The carbofuran hydrolase gene cehA was cloned from strain CFD-1 and expressed in Escherichia coli. CehA could hydrolyze carbamate pesticides including carbofuran and carbaryl efficiently, while it showed poor hydrolysis ability against isoprocarb, propoxur, oxamyl and aldicarb. CehA displayed maximal enzymatic activity at 40 °C and pH 7.0. The apparent Km and Kcat values of CehA for carbofuran were 133.22 ± 5.70 μM and 9.48 ± 0.89 s-1, respectively. The site-directed mutation experiment showed that His313, His315, His453 and His495 played important roles in the hydrolysis of carbofuran by CehA. Furthermore, the sequence of cehA is highly conserved among different carbofuran-degrading strains, and there are mobile elements around cehA, indicating that it may be transferred horizontally between different strains.

Keywords: Biodegradation; Carbofuran; Carbofuran hydrolase CehA; Key amino acid; Sphingbium sp. CFD-1.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Carbamates
  • Carbaryl / metabolism
  • Carbofuran / metabolism*
  • Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Hydrolysis
  • Pesticides / metabolism*
  • Sphingomonadaceae / physiology*


  • Amino Acids
  • Carbamates
  • Pesticides
  • isoprocarb
  • Hydrolases
  • Carbaryl
  • Carbofuran
  • oxamyl