SUMMARY: The dichloromethane dehalogenases of four facultative methylotrophs that mineralize dichloromethane were compared. Similar levels of specific activity and a similar subunit of the dehalogenases were observed in crude extracts of the four strains. Immunodiffusion analysis and quantitative immunoprecipitation indicated that the dehalogenases closely resemble each other. This was confirmed when the N-terminal amino acid sequences of the four dichloromethane dehalogenases were found to be identical. Some variation was observed with respect to the specificity of the inducers for dichloromethane dehalogenase. In the two strains examined 1,1-dichloroethane and 1,2-dichloroethane were effective gratuitous inducers whereas these compounds exhibited only a marginal inducing effect in the two strains. The results of this comparative study are compatible with the view that dichloromethane dehalogenase represents a recently evolved enzyme which was horizontally distributed by gene transfer.


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