The degradation of 2-chloro-4,5-O-(4′-methyl-7′, 8′-diphenyl)ether (CMDPE), an analog of 2,7-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,7-DCDD), mediated by Geobacillus sp. UZO 3 cell-free extract was monitored. Ethyl acetate extracts of a complete reaction mixture incubated at 65°C for 18 h were analyzed either by thin layer chromatography (TLC) fractionation coupled with spectrometric detection or by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The reaction product 4-methylumbelliferone (4MU) was successfully isolated by TLC and visualized by a transilluminator at 450 nm. The 4MU, 4-chlorophenol, and reaction intermediate 6-chlorophenoxy-4-methylumbelliferone were all successfully detected by GC-MS. The presence of these compounds suggest that Geobacillus sp. UZO 3 cell-free extract also catalyzes the reductive cleavage of the diaryl ether bonds of CMDPE in a similar mechanism previously reported in 2,7-DCDD. In the present study, the authors describe a simple and highly sensitive fluorescent assay for a new dioxin degrading enzyme(s). Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 1072–1075. © 2012 SETAC
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