Enhanced biodegradation of polychlorinated biphenyls after site-directed mutagenesis of a biphenyl dioxygenase gene

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 Nov;59(11):3858-62. doi: 10.1128/aem.59.11.3858-3862.1993.


Biphenyl dioxygenase catalyzes the first step in the aerobic degradation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The nucleotide and amino acid sequences of the biphenyl dioxygenases from two PCB-degrading strains (Pseudomonas sp. strain LB400 and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes KF707) were compared. The sequences were found to be nearly identical, yet these enzymes exhibited dramatically different substrate specificities for PCBs. Site-directed mutagenesis of the LB400 bphA gene resulted in an enzyme combining the broad congener specificity of LB400 with increased activity against several congeners characteristic of KF707. These data strongly suggest that the BphA subunit of biphenyl dioxygenase plays an important role in determining substrate selectivity. Further alteration of this enzyme can be used to develop a greater understanding of the structural basis for congener specificity and to broaden the range of degradable PCB congeners.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Oxygenases / genetics*
  • Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas / enzymology*
  • Pseudomonas / genetics*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Oxygenases
  • biphenyl-2,3-dioxygenase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M83673
  • GENBANK/M86348