Metabolism of Styrene Oxide and 2-Phenylethanol in the Styrene-Degrading Xanthobacter Strain 124X

Hartmans, S.; Smits, J.P.; van der Werf, M.J.; Volkering, F.; de Bont, J.A.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology 55(11): 2850-2855


ISSN/ISBN: 0099-2240
PMID: 16348047
Accession: 049575314

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Styrene oxide and 2-phenylethanol metabolism in the styrene-degrading Xanthobacter sp. strain 124X was shown to proceed via phenylacetaldehyde and phenylacetic acid. In cell extracts 2-phenylethanol was oxidized by a phenazine methosulfate-dependent enzyme, probably a pyrroloquinoline quinone enzyme. Xanthobacter sp. strain 124X also contains a novel enzymatic activity designated as styrene oxide isomerase. Styrene oxide isomerase catalyzes the isomerization of styrene oxide to phenylacetaldehyde. The enzyme was partially purified and shown to have a very high substrate specificity. Of the epoxides tested, styrene oxide was the only substrate transformed. The initial step in styrene metabolism in Xanthobacter sp. strain 124X is oxygen dependent and probably involves oxidation of the aromatic nucleus.