Camphor revisited: involvement of a unique monooxygenase in metabolism of 2-oxo-delta 3-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetic acid by Pseudomonas putida

J Bacteriol. 1983 Jan;153(1):140-52. doi: 10.1128/jb.153.1.140-152.1983.


Previously, Pseudomonas putida was shown to degrade (+)-camphor, and cleavage of the first ring of the bicyclic structure involved two monooxygenases (a hydroxylase and a ring oxygen-inserting enzyme), a dehydrogenase, and spontaneous cleavage of an unstable oxygenation product (lactone). Cleavage of the second ring was not demonstrated but was assumed also to occur by ring oxygen insertion, since the predicted oxygenation product was extracted from whole-cell incubation systems. Our investigation established that metabolism of the first ring cleavage intermediate, 2-oxo-delta 3-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetic acid, occurred through the sequential action of two inducible enzymes, a coenzyme A ester synthetase and an oxygenase. The oxygenase was purified to homogeneity and had a molecular weight of 106,000. This enzyme carried a single molecule of flavin adenine dinucleotide and consisted of two identical subunits. Iron was not present at a significant level. The oxygenase was specific for NADPH as the electron donor and absolutely specific for the coenzyme A ester of 2-oxo-delta 3-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetic acid as the substrate. The reaction stoichiometry was compatible with this enzyme being a monooxygenase, and a mass spectral analysis of the methyl ester of the product confirmed the insertion of a single oxygen atom. The enzyme appeared to be analogous to, although distinct from. 2,5-diketocamphane 1,2-monooxygenase in catalyzing a "biological Baeyer-Villiger" reaction with the formation of a lactone. Structural analogy suggested that this lactone, like the first, was also unstable and susceptible to spontaneous ring opening, although this was not experimentally established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Camphor / metabolism*
  • Cyclopentanes / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide / analysis
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Iron / analysis
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Weight
  • Oxygenases / analysis
  • Oxygenases / isolation & purification
  • Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas / enzymology*
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Cyclopentanes
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • 2-oxo-delta(3)-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetic acid
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide
  • Camphor
  • Iron
  • Oxygenases
  • 2-oxo-delta-(3)-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetyl-CoA oxygenase