Catabolism of 3- and 4-hydroxyphenylacetate by the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetate pathway in Escherichia coli

J Bacteriol. 1980 Jul;143(1):302-6. doi: 10.1128/jb.143.1.302-306.1980.


Various strains of Escherichia coli (but not strain K-12) were found to grow on 3-hydroxyphenylacetate and 4-hydroxyphenylacetate. Both compounds were catabolized by the same pathway, with 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetate as a substrate for fission of the benzene nucleus, and with pyruvate and succinate as products. All the necessay enzymes were demonstrated in cell extracts prepared from induced cells but were essentially absent from uninduced cells. Mutants unable to grow on 3- and 4-hydroxyphenylactetate were defective in particular enzymes of the pathway. The characteristics of certain mutants indicated that either uptake or hydroxylation of 3- and 4-hydroxyphenylacetate may involve a common protein component. E. coli also grew on 3,4-hydroxyphenylacetate, with induction of the enzyme necessary for its degradation but not those for the uptake-hydroxylation of 3- and 4-hydroxyphenylacetate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Dioxygenases*
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism
  • Oxygenases / metabolism
  • Phenylacetates / metabolism*
  • Pyruvates / biosynthesis
  • Succinate-Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase
  • Succinates / metabolism


  • 3-hydroxyphenylacetate
  • Phenylacetates
  • Pyruvates
  • Succinates
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • 4-hydroxyphenylacetate
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • Oxygenases
  • Dioxygenases
  • 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetate 2,3-dioxygenase
  • 3-hydroxyphenylacetate 4-monooxygenase
  • 4-hydroxyphenylacetate 3-monooxygenase
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases
  • 5-carboxymethyl-2-hydroxymuconic acid semialdehyde dehydrogenase
  • Succinate-Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase