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Keywords:

  • Alcanivorax borkumensis;
  • rubredoxin reductase;
  • AlkG;
  • NADH;
  • Alkane hydroxylation

Abstract

Oil pollution is an environmental problem of increasing importance. Alcanivoraxborkumensis, with a high potential for biotechnological applications, is a key marine hydrocarbonoclastic bacterium and plays a critical role in the bioremediation of oil-polluted marine systems. In oil degrading bacteria, the first step of alkane degradation is catalyzed by a monooxygenase. The reducing electrons are tunneled from NAD(P)H via rubredoxin, one of the most primitive metalloproteins, to the hydroxylase. Rubredoxin reductase is a flavoprotein catalyzing the reduction of rubredoxin. There are two rubredoxin genes, alkG and rubA, in A. borkumensis genome. In this work, the genes encoding rubredoxin reductase (ABO_0162, rubB) and AlkG(ABO_2708, alkG) were cloned and functionally overexpressed in E. coli. Our results demonstrate that RubB could reduce AlkG, therefore compensating for the absence of AlkT, also a rubredoxin reductase, missing in A. borkumensis SK2 genome. These results will increase our knowledge concerning biological alkane degradation and will lead us to design more efficient biotransformation and bioremediation systems. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2011