Aromatic dimer dehydrogenases from Novosphingobium aromaticivorans reduce monoaromatic diketones
A.M. Linz et al. "Aromatic dimer dehydrogenases from Novosphingobium aromaticivorans reduce monoaromatic diketones" Applied and Enviromental Microbiology (2021) 87 [DOI:10.1128/AEM.01742-21]
Lignin is a major plant polymer composed of aromatic units that have value as chemicals. However, the structure and composition of lignin have made it difficult to use this polymer as a renewable source of industrial chemicals. Bacteria like Novosphingobium aromaticivorans have the potential to make chemicals from lignin not only because of their natural ability to metabolize a variety of aromatics but also because there are established protocols to engineer N. aromaticivorans strains to funnel lignin-derived aromatics into valuable products. In this work, we report a newly discovered activity of previously characterized dehydrogenase enzymes with a chemically modified by-product of lignin depolymerization. We propose that the activity of N. aromaticivorans enzymes with both native lignin aromatics and those produced by chemical depolymerization will expand opportunities for producing industrial chemicals from the heterogenous components of this abundant plant polymer.