Oxygenation and spontaneous deamination of 2-aminobenzenesulphonic acid in Alcaligenes sp. strain O-1 with subsequent meta ring cleavage and spontaneous desulphonation to 2-hydroxymuconic acid

Biochem J. 1994 Jun 1;300 ( Pt 2)(Pt 2):429-36. doi: 10.1042/bj3000429.


2-Aminobenzenesulphonic acid (2AS) is degraded by Alcaligenes sp. strain O-1 via a previously detected but unidentified intermediate. A mutant of strain O-1 was found to excrete this intermediate, which was isolated and identified by m.s., 1H- and 13C-n.m.r. as 3-sulphocatechol (3SC). Proteins from cell extracts of strain O-1 were separated by anion-exchange chromatography. A multicomponent oxygenase was observed to convert 1 mol each of NADH, O2 and 2AS into 1 mol each of 3SC, NH3 and NAD+. The enzyme presumably catalysed formation of the ring of a 2-amino-2,3-diol moiety, and elimination in the amino group led to a rearomatization. 3SC was further degraded via meta ring cleavage, which could be prevented by inactivation of the 3-sulphocatechol-2,3-dioxygenase (3SC23O) with 3-chlorocatechol. In Tris buffer, the separated 3SC23O catalysed the reaction of 1 mol each of 3SC and O2 involving a transient yellow intermediate, and release of 1 mol of sulphite and two organic products. The major product was identified by n.m.r. and by g.c./m.s. as 5-carboxypenta-2,4-dien-5-olide (CPDO), an indicator of formation of 2-hydroxymuconic acid (2HM). The second product was identified as the Z,E isomer of 2HM by comparison with authentic material. When the CPDO in the product mixture was chemically hydrolysed to (Z,E)-2HM, 1 mol of (Z,E)-2HM/mol of 3SC was observed. If oxygenation of 3SC by 3SC23O was carried out in phosphate buffer, only a single product was detected, a keto form of 2HM. This dioate was also formed from authentic (Z,E)-2HM in phosphate buffer. Formation of the natural product (Z,E)-2HM from the xenobiotic, 3SC, seems to involve oxygenation to the unstable 2-hydroxy-6-sulphonomuconic acid semialdehyde, which hydrolyses spontaneously to 2HM. There would appear to be at least one spontaneous reaction per enzyme reaction in this pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcaligenes / chemistry*
  • Alcaligenes / genetics
  • Deamination
  • Hydrolysis
  • Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Sorbic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sorbic Acid / chemistry
  • Sulfanilic Acids / chemistry*


  • Sulfanilic Acids
  • 2-hydroxymuconic acid
  • Oxygen
  • Sorbic Acid
  • 2-sulfanilic acid