The Corrinoid Cofactor of Reductive Dehalogenases Affects Dechlorination Rates and Extents in Organohalide-Respiring Dehalococcoides mccartyi


Jun Yan, Burcu Simsir, Abigail T. Farmer, Meng Bi, Yi Yang, Shawn R. Campagna, Frank E. Löffler


Corrinoid auxotrophic organohalide-respiring Dehalococcoides mccartyi (Dhc) strains are keystone bacteria for reductive dechlorination of toxic and carcinogenic chloroorganic contaminants. We demonstrate that the lower base attached to the essential corrinoid cofactor of reductive dehalogenase (RDase) enzyme systems modulates dechlorination activity and affects the vinyl chloride (VC) RDases BvcA and VcrA differently. Amendment of 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazolyl-cobamide (DMB-Cba) to Dhc strain BAV1 and strain GT cultures supported cis-1,2-dichloroethene-to-ethene reductive dechlorination at rates of 107.0 (±12.0) μM and 67.4 (±1.4) μM Cl(-) released per day, respectively. Strain BAV1, expressing the BvcA RDase, reductively dechlorinated VC to ethene, although at up to fivefold lower rates in cultures amended with cobamides carrying 5-methylbenzimidazole (5-MeBza), 5-methoxybenzimidazole (5-OMeBza) or benzimidazole (Bza) as the lower base. In contrast, strain GT harboring the VcrA RDase failed to grow and dechlorinate VC to ethene in medium amended with 5-OMeBza-Cba or Bza-Cba. The amendment with DMB to inactive strain GT cultures restored the VC-to-ethene-dechlorinating phenotype and intracellular DMB-Cba was produced, demonstrating cobamide uptake and remodeling. The distinct responses of Dhc strains with BvcA versus VcrA RDases to different cobamides implicate that the lower base exerts control over Dhc reductive dechlorination rates and extents (that is, detoxification), and therefore the dynamics of Dhc strains with discrete reductive dechlorination capabilities. These findings emphasize that the role of the corrinoid/lower base synthesizing community must be understood to predict strain-specific Dhc activity and achieve efficacious contaminated site cleanup.

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Yan J, Simsir B, Farmer AT, Bi M, Yang Y, Campagna SR, Loffler FE. 2016. The corrinoid cofactor of reductive dehalogenases affects dechlorination rates and extents in organohalide-respiring Dehalococcoides mccartyi. ISME Journal 10:1092-1101.