Summary: A long-chain chloroalkane, 1-chlorooctadecane, was biotransformed by a marine amoeba, 1–7, and utilized by this organism as a carbon source. Haloalkane metabolism was accompanied by marked cell darkening which may represent xenobiotic-induced melanin biosynthesis. Radiolabelled carbon atoms derived from 1-chloro[1-C]octadecane were incorporated into cellular proteins and organic intermediates, including fatty acids. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analyses of the fatty acid methyl ester derivatives, however, showed that they were not chlorinated. [1-C]Octadecanoic acid methyl ester was detected by mass spectrometry, but hexadecanoic acid methyl ester did not contain detectable C. These data suggest that the amoebae convert the chloroalkane to the corresponding fatty acid by oxidative dehalogenation.


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