Benzonitrile is used as a solvent and chemical intermediate in the pharmaceutical, dyestuffs and rubber industries. It is highly toxic and harmful in contact with skin. The microbial degradation of benzonitrile proceeds through two enzymatic pathways. One is the nitrilase pathway, in which nitrilase directly converts benzonitrile to benzoate and ammonia (Kobayashi et al., 1989). In the other pathway, this conversion proceeds by a combination of nitrile hydratase and amidase (Kobayashi et al., 1993).
The following is a text-format benzonitrile pathway map. Organisms which can initiate the pathway are given, but other organisms may a lso carry out later steps. Follow the links for more information on compounds or reactions. This map is also available in graphic (5k) format.
Benzonitrile Benzonitrile <------ from the Thiobenzamide pathway Rhodococcus Klebsiella rhodochrous J1 pneumoniae | | | | | | nitrile hydratase | | nitrilase | | | v | Benzamide | | | | | | amidase | | | | v | Benzoate <--------+ | | | | v to the Benzoate Pathway
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