Enantioselective transformation of α-hexachlorocyclohexane by the dehydrochlorinases LinA1 and LinA2 from the soil bacterium Sphingomonas paucimobilis B90A
Sphingomonas paucimobilis B90A contains two variants, LinA1 and LinA2, of a dehydrochlorinase that catalyzes the first and second steps in the metabolism of hexachlorocyclohexanes (R. Kumari, S. Subudhi, M. Suar, G. Dhingra, V. Raina, C. Dogra, S. Lal, J. R. van der Meer, C. Holliger, and R. Lal, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68:6021-6028, 2002). On the amino acid level, LinA1 and LinA2 were 88% identical to each other, and LinA2 was 100% identical to LinA of S. paucimobilis UT26. Incubation of chiral -hexachlorocyclohexane (-HCH) with Escherichia coli BL21 expressing functional LinA1 and LinA2 S-glutathione transferase fusion proteins showed that LinA1 preferentially converted the (+) enantiomer, whereas LinA2 preferred the (–) enantiomer. Concurrent formation and subsequent dissipation of ß-pentachlorocyclohexene enantiomers was also observed in these experiments, indicating that there was enantioselective formation and/or dissipation of these enantiomers. LinA1 preferentially formed (3S,4S,5R,6R)-1,3,4,5,6-pentachlorocyclohexene, and LinA2 preferentially formed (3R,4R,5S,6S)-1,3,4,5,6-pentachlorocyclohexene. Because enantioselectivity was not observed in incubations with whole cells of S. paucimobilis B90A, we concluded that LinA1 and LinA2 are equally active in this organism. The enantioselective transformation of chiral -HCH by LinA1 and LinA2 provides the first evidence of the molecular basis for the changed enantiomer composition of -HCH in many natural environments. Enantioselective degradation may be one of the key processes determining enantiomer composition, especially when strains that contain only one of the linA genes, such as S. paucimobilis UT26, prevail.