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Involvement of cytochrome c CymA in the anaerobic metabolism of RDX by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

NRC Biotechnology Research Institute; National Research Council Canada
Published in:
Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Pages :
NPArC #:
RDX; explosive; nitramine; biotransformation; Shewanella
Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) is a cyclic nitramine explosive commonly used for military applications that is responsible for severe soil and groundwater contamination. In this study, Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 was shown to efficiently degrade RDX anaerobically (3.5 ?mol·h -1·(g protein) -1) via two initial routes: (1) sequential N-NO2 reductions to the corresponding nitroso (N-NO) derivatives (94% of initial RDX degradation) and (2) denitration followed by ring cleavage. To identify genes involved in the anaerobic metabolism of RDX, a library of ~2500 mutants of MR-1 was constructed by random transposon mutagenesis and screened for mutants with a reduced ability to degrade RDX compared with the wild type. An RDX-defective mutant (C9) was isolated that had the transposon inserted in the c-type cytochrome gene cymA. C9 transformed RDX at ~10% of the wild-type rate, with degradation occurring mostly via early ring cleavage caused by initial denitration leading to the formation of methylenedinitramine, 4-nitro-2,4-diazabutanal, formaldehyde, nitrous oxide, and ammonia. Genetic complementation of mutant C9 restored the wild-type phenotype, providing evidence that electron transport components have a role in the anaerobic reduction of RDX by MR-1.
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