The repertoire of nitrogen assimilation in Rhodococcus: Catalysis, pathways and relevance in biotechnology and bioremediation

Alexander Foster, Nicole Barnes, Robert Speight, Mark A. Keane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Rhodococcus genus exhibits diverse enzymatic activity that can be exploited in the conversion of natural and anthropogenic nitrogenous compounds. This catalytic response provides a selective advantage in terms of available nutrients while also serving to remove otherwise harmful xenobiotics. This review provides a critical assessment of the literature on bioconversion of organo-nitrogen compounds with a consideration of applications in bioremediation and commercial biotechnology. By examining the major nitro-organic compounds (amino acids, amines, nitriles, amides and nitroaromatics) in turn, the considerable repertoire of Rhodococcus spp. is established. The available published enzyme reaction data is coupled with genomic characterisation to provide a molecular basis for Rhodococcus enzyme activity with an assessment of the cellular properties that aid substrate accessibility and ensure stability. The metabolic gene clusters associated with the observed reaction pathways are identified and future directions in enzyme optimisation and metabolic engineering are assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-802
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Volume89
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Amides
  • Amines
  • Amino acids
  • Bioremediation
  • Biotechnology
  • Nitriles
  • Nitroaromatics
  • Rhodococcus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biotechnology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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