In nature, dodecyl sulfate commonly exists as sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), which is the component of a variety of synthetic surfactants. The persistent presence of SDS in domestic and industrial effluents have prompted manufacturers' attention on its biodegradation. Much research has shown that Pseudomonads have the capacity to degrade sulfate esters of long-chain primary alcohols.
The biodegradation of dodecyl sulfate biodegradation is initiated with the liberation of inorganic sulfate by alkyl sulfatase, then the liberated alcohol is oxidized to lauric acid by an alcohol dehydrogenase through the alk pathway. The genetics and enzymology of the alk pathway have been investigated in detail. The alk genes are in two operons, alkBFGHJKL and alkST, which encode the proteins necessary for the degradation of five to twelve-carbon linear alkanes. At last, lauric acid is further degraded via beta-oxidation (Davis et al., 1992; van Beilen et al., 1992).
The following is a text-format dodecyl sulfate degradation pathway map. Organisms which can initiate the pathway are given, but other organisms may also carry out later steps. Follow the links for more information on compounds or reactions. This map is also available in graphic (7k) format.
Dodecyl Sulfate Pseudomonas oleovorans | | | alkyl sulfatase | | v 1-Dodecanol | | | alcohol dehydrogenase | | v Dodecanal | | | aldehyde dehydrogenase (NAD+) | | v Lauric acid | | | acyl-CoA synthetase | | v Lauroyl-CoA | | | | | v Intermediary Metabolism (KEGG)
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