Trifluoroacetate is produced by tropospheric hydroxyl radical attack on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Once trifluoroacetate is deposited at the Earth's surface it is microbially metabolized: anaerobically to acetate and aerobically to fluoroform, a potential ozone-depleting compound with a longer atmospheric lifetime than trifluoroacetate (Visscher, P. T., Culbertson, C. W., and Oremiand, R. S. Degradation of Trifluoroacetate in Oxic and Anoxic Sediments. Nature (London) (1994), 369(6483), 729-31.). Fluoroacetate can also be aerobically dehalogenated by haloacetate dehalogenase (Kawasaki, H., Tone, N., Tonomura, K. Purification and properties of haloacetate halidohydrolase specified by plasmid from Moraxella sp. strain B. Agric. Biol. Chem. (1981) 45: 35-42.).
The following is a text-format trifluoroacetate degradation pathway map. Many organisms can initiate the pathway and carry out its later steps. Follow the links for more information on compounds or reactions. This map is also available in graphic (6k) format.
Trifluoroacetate Trifluoroacetate anaerobic consortium aerobic consortium | | | | | trifluoroacetate | trifluoroacetate | reductive dehalogenase | decarboxylase | | v v Difluoroacetate Fluoroform | | difluoroacetate | reductive dehalogenase | | haloacetate v dehalogenase Fluoroacetate ------------> Glycolate | | | | | fluoroacetate | | reductive dehalogenase | | v v Intermediary Acetate Metabolism | (KEGG) | | | v Intermediary Metabolism (KEGG)
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