The 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid catabolon, a catabolic unit for degradation of biogenic amines tyramine and dopamine in Pseudomonas putida U


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Degradation of tyramine and dopamine by Pseudomonas putida U involves the participation of twenty one proteins organized in two coupled catabolic pathways, Tyn (tynABFEC tynG tynR tynD, 12 338 bp) and Hpa (hpaR hpaBC hpaHI hpaX hpaG1G2EDF hpaA hpaY, 12 722 bp). The Tyn pathway catalyses the conversion of tyramine and dopamine into 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (4HPA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (3,4HPA) respectively. Together, the Tyn and Hpa pathways constitute a complex catabolic unit (the 3,4HPA catabolon) in which 3,4HPA is the central intermediate. The genes encoding Tyn proteins are organized in four consecutive transcriptional units (tynABFEC, tynG, tynR and tynD), whereas those encoding Hpa proteins constitute consecutive operons (hpaBC, hpaG1G2EDF, hpaX, hpaHI) and three independent units (hpaA, hpaR and hpaY). Genetic engineering approaches were used to clone tyn and hpa genes and then express them, either individually or in tandem, in plasmids and/or bacterial chromosomes, resulting in recombinant bacterial strains able to eliminate tyramine and dopamine from different media. These results enlarge our biochemical and genetic knowledge of the microbial catabolic routes involved in the degradation of aromatic bioamines. Furthermore, they provide potent biotechnological tools to be used in food processing and fermentation as well as new strategies that could be used for pharmacological and gene therapeutic applications in the near future.