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Proteogenomics reveals novel reductive dehalogenases and methyltransferases expressed during anaerobic dichloromethane metabo...

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology
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Dichloromethane (DCM) is susceptible to microbial degradation under anoxic conditions and is metabolized via the Wood-Ljungdahl Pathway; however, mechanistic understanding of carbon-chlorine bond cleavage is lacking. The microbial consortium RM contains the DCM degrader Candidatus Dichloromethanomonas elyunquensis strain RM, which strictly requires DCM as a growth substrate. Proteomic workflows applied to DCM-grown consortium RM biomass revealed a total of 1,705 non-redundant proteins, of which 521 could be assigned to strain RM. In the presence of DCM, strain RM expressed a complete set of Wood-Ljungdahl Pathway enzymes, as well as proteins implicated in chemotaxis, motility, sporulation, and vitamin/co-factor synthesis. Four corrinoid-dependent methyltransferases were among the most abundant proteins. Notably, two of three putative reductive dehalogenases (RDases) encoded within strain RM's genome were also detected in high abundance. Expressed RDase 1 and RDase 2 shared 30% amino acid identity, and RDase 1 was most similar to an RDase of Dehalococcoides mccartyi strain WBC-2 (AOV99960, 52% amino acid identity), while RDase 2 was most similar to an RDase of Dehalobacter sp. strain UNSWDHB (EQB22800, 72% amino acid identity). Although the involvement of RDases in anaerobic DCM metabolism has yet to be experimentally verified, the proteome characterization results implicated the possible participation of one or more reductive dechlorination steps and methyl group transfer reactions, leading to a revised proposal for an anaerobic DCM degradation pathway.