Isopropylbenzene catabolic pathway in Pseudomonas putida RE204: nucleotide sequence analysis of the ipb operon and neighboring DNA from pRE4

Biodegradation. 1998;9(2):119-32. doi: 10.1023/a:1008386221961.


Pseudomonas putida RE204 employs a set of plasmid-specified enzymes in the catabolism of isopropylbenzene (cumene) and related alkylbenzenes. A 21,768 bp segment of the plasmid pRE4, whose sequence is discussed here, includes the ipb (isopropylbenzene catabolic) operon as well as associated genetic elements. The ipb operon, ipbAaAbAcAdBCEGFHD, encodes enzymes catalyzing the conversion of isopropylbenzene to isobutyrate, pyruvate, and acetyl-coenzyme A as well as an outer membrane protein (IpbH) of uncertain function. These gene products are 75 to 91% identical to those encoded by other isopropylbenzene catabolic operons and are somewhat less similar to analogous proteins of related pathways for the catabolism of mono-substituted benzenes. Upstream of ipbAa, ipbR encodes a positive regulatory protein which has about 56% identity to XylS regulatory proteins of TOL (xylene/toluate) catabolic plasmids. This similarity and that of the DNA sequence in the proposed ipb operator-promoter region (ipbOP) to the same region of the xyl meta operon (xylOmPm) suggest that, although the IpbR and XylS regulatory proteins recognize very different inducers, their interactions with DNA to activate gene expression are similar. Upstream of ipbR is an 1196 bp insertion sequence, IS1543, related to IS52 and IS1406. Separating ipbR from ipbAa are 3 additional tightly clustered IS elements. These are IS1544, related to IS1543, IS52, and other members of the IS5 family; IS1545, related to IS1240; and IS1546, related to IS1491. Encompassing the ipb catabolic genes and the other genetic elements and separated from each other by 18,492 bp, are two identical, directly repeated 1007 bp DNA segments. Homologous recombination between these segments appears to be responsible for the occasional deletion of the intervening DNA from pRE4.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Benzene Derivatives / metabolism*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Catalytic Domain
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Dioxygenases*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Operon / genetics*
  • Oxygenases / metabolism
  • Plasmids
  • Pseudomonas putida / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas putida / metabolism*


  • Benzene Derivatives
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • cumene
  • Oxygenases
  • Dioxygenases
  • isopropylbenzene dioxygenase