Summary: A bacterium capable of growth on 4-hydroxyacetophenone was isolated from soil and identified as an sp. Intact cells rapidly oxidized (4-hydroxybenzoyl)methanol, 4-hydroxybenzoate and protocatechuate as well as the growth substrate, and also converted the substrate analogue (4-methoxybenzoyl)methanol to 4-methoxybenzoic acid. When provided with NADH, cell-free extracts oxidized 4-hydroxyacetophenone to 4-hydroxybenzoate and formate, the same products as were formed from (4-hydroxybenzoyl)methanol without NADH. The oxidation of 4-hydroxybenzoate by cell-free extracts required NADPH and the product from both this and protocatechuate oxidation was 3-oxoadipate. A pathway for the catabolism of 4-hydroxyacetophenone, by hydroxylation to (4-hydroxybenzoyl)methanol followed by oxidative cleavage to 4-hydroxybenzoate and formate and hydroxylation of the 4-hydroxybenzoate to protocatechuate, is proposed. Oxidation of protocatechuate was by the pathway. The key enzymes in the proposed pathway were induced by growth on 4-hydroxyacetophenone.


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