Sphingobium japonicum UT26 utilizes γ-hexaclilorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) as its sole source of carbon and energy. In our previous studies, we cloned and characterized genes encoding enzymes for the conversion of γ-HCH to β-ketoadipate in UT26. In this study, we analyzed a mutant obtained by transposon mutagenesis and identified and characterized new genes encoding a putative ABC-type transporter essential for the utilization of γ-HCH in strain UT26. This putative ABC transporter consists of four components, permease, ATPase, periplasmic protein, and lipoprotein, encoded by linK, linL, linM, and linN, respectively. Mutation and complementation analyses indicated that all the linKLMN genes are required, probably as a set, for γ-HCH utilization in UT26. Furthermore, the mutant cells deficient in this putative ABC transporter showed (i) higher γ-HCH degradation activity and greater accumulation of the toxic dead-end product 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP), (ii) higher sensitivity to 2,5-DCP itself, and (iii) higher permeability of hydrophobic compounds than the wild-type cells. These results strongly suggested that LinKLMN are involved in γ-HCH utilization by controlling membrane hydrophobicity. This study clearly demonstrated that a cellular factor besides catabolic enzymes and transcriptional regulators is essential for utilization of xenobiotic compounds in bacterial cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology