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Open AccessArticle

Characterization and Transcriptional Regulation of n-Alkane Hydroxylase Gene Cluster of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1

Department of Bioengineering, Nagaoka University of Technology, Nagaoka 940-2188, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Department of Biological Chemistry, Chubu University, Kasugai 487-8501, Japan.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(11), 479;
Received: 24 September 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 21 October 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Degradation of Xenobiotics)
Gram-positive actinomycete Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 is able to grow on C10 to C19 n-alkanes as a sole source of carbon and energy. To clarify, the n-alkane utilization pathway—a cluster of 5 genes (alkBrubA1A2BalkU) which appeared to be involved in n-alkane degradation—was identified and the transcriptional regulation of these genes was characterized. Reverse transcription-PCR analyses revealed that these genes constituted an operon and were transcribed in the presence of n-alkane. Inactivation of alkB led to the absence of the ability to utilize n-undecane. The alkB mutation resulted in reduction of growth rates on C10 and C12 n-alkanes; however, growths on C13 to C19 n-alkanes were not affected by this mutation. These results suggested that alkB was essential for the utilization of C10 to C12 n-alkanes. Inactivation of alkU showed the constitutive expression of alkB. Purified AlkU is able to bind to the putative promoter region of alkB, suggesting that AlkU played a role in repression of the transcription of alk operon. The results of this study indicated that alkB was involved in the medium-chain n-alkanes degradation of strain RHA1 and the transcription of alk operon was negatively regulated by alkU-encoded regulator. This report is important to understand the n-alkane degradation pathway of R. jostii, including the transcriptional regulation of alk gene cluster. View Full-Text
Keywords: n-alkane; n-alkane hydroxylase; Rhodococcus; TetR-type transcriptional regulator n-alkane; n-alkane hydroxylase; Rhodococcus; TetR-type transcriptional regulator
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gibu, N.; Kasai, D.; Ikawa, T.; Akiyama, E.; Fukuda, M. Characterization and Transcriptional Regulation of n-Alkane Hydroxylase Gene Cluster of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 479.

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