Microbial metabolism of the pyridine ring. The metabolism of pyridine-3,4-diol (3,4-dihydroxypyridine) by Agrobacterium sp

Biochem J. 1974 May;140(2):277-92. doi: 10.1042/bj1400277.


1. Pyridine-3,4-diol (3,4-dihydroxypyridine, 3-hydroxypyrid-4-one), an intermediate in 4-hydroxypyridine metabolism by an Agrobacterium sp (N.C.I.B. 10413), was converted by extracts into 1mol of pyruvate, 2mol of formate and 1mol of NH(3) at pH7.0. 2. Formate, but not the alternative likely product formamide, was further oxidized fivefold faster by 4-hydroxypyridine-grown washed cells than by similar organisms grown on succinate. 3. The oxidation of pyridine-3,4-diol by crude extracts at pH8.5 required 1mol of O(2)/mol of substrate, produced 1mol of acid and led to the formation of formate and a new compound with an extinction maximum of 285nm (Compound I). This step was believed to be mediated by a new labile dioxygenase (t((1/2))=4h at pH7.0, 4 degrees C) cleaving the pyridine ring between C-2 and C-3. 4. Many of the properties of this pyridine-3,4-diol dioxygenase paralleled those of the extradiol (;meta') oxygenases of aromatic-ring cleavage. The extreme lability of the enzyme has so far precluded extensive purification. 5. Compound I showed changes in the u.v.-absorption spectrum with pH but after acidification it was converted into a new product, 3-formylpyruvate, with an extinction maximum now at 279nm. 6. Both Compound I and 3-formylpyruvate were metabolized by extracts but at very different rates. The slower rate of metabolism of Compound I was nevertheless consistent with that of pyridine-3,4-diol metabolism. 7. On acidification Compound I released about 0.65mol of NH(3) and has been identified as 3-formiminopyruvate. 8. 3-Formylpyruvate was hydrolysed to formate and pyruvate (K(m) 2mum) by an acylpyruvate hydrolase active against several other dioxo homologues. The activity of this enzyme was much lower in extracts of succinate-grown cells.

MeSH terms

  • Ammonia / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Chromatography, Paper
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Formamides / metabolism
  • Formates / metabolism
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrolases
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • NAD
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Oxygenases
  • Pyridines / metabolism*
  • Pyruvates / metabolism
  • Rhizobium / metabolism*
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet


  • Formamides
  • Formates
  • Pyridines
  • Pyruvates
  • NAD
  • Ammonia
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Oxygenases
  • Hydrolases
  • Oxygen