Biodegradation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) by Enterobacter sp. NKNU02

Ssu Ching Chen, Colin S. Chen, Kai Van Zhan, Kai Hsing Yang, Chih Ching Chien, Bao Sen Shieh, Wen Ming Chen

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19 Scopus citations


We previously isolated and identified Enterobacter sp. NKNU02 as a methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)-degrading bacterial strain from gasoline-contaminated water. In this study, tert-butyl alcohol, acetic acid, 2-propanol, and propenoic acid were detected using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry when MTBE was degraded by rest cells of Enterobacter sp. NKNU02 cells. We also found that biodegradation of MTBE was decreased, but not totally inhibited in mixtures of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene. The effects of MTBE on the biology of Enterobacter sp. NKNU02 were elucidated using 2D proteomic analysis. The cytoplasmic proteins isolated from these MTBE-treated and -untreated cells were carried out for proteomic analysis. Results showed that there were 6 differential protein spots and 8 differential protein spots, respectively, as compared to their corresponding control (without MTBE addition), at the indicated incubation times when 40% and 60% of 100. mg/L of MTBE had been removed, Among these proteins, nine were successfully identified with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry. Proteins identified included extracellular solute-binding protein, periplasmic-binding protein ytfQ, cationic amino acid ABC transporter, isocitrate dehydrogenase, cysteine synthase A, alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (AhpC), transaldolase, and alcohol dehydrogenase. Based on these differential proteins, we discuss the bacterial responses to MTBE at the molecular level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1744-1750
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2011


  • 2D proteome
  • BTEX
  • Enterobacter sp. NKNU02
  • MTBE degradation


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