1. Pseudomonas putida when grown with thymol contained a meta-fission dioxygenase, which required ferrous ions and readily cleaved the benzene nucleus of catechols between adjacent carbon atoms bearing hydroxyl and isopropyl groups. 2. 3-Hydroxythymo-1,4-quinone was excreted towards the end of exponential growth and later was slowly metabolized. This compound was oxidized by partially purified extracts only when NADH was supplied; the substrate for the dioxygenase appeared to be 3-hydroxythymo-1,4-quinol, which was readily and non-enzymically oxidized to the quinone. 3. 2-Oxobutyrate (0·9 mole) was formed from 1 mole of 3-hydroxythymo-1,4-quinone with the consumption of 1 mole of oxygen; acetate, isobutyrate and 2-hydroxybutyrate (which arose from the enzymic reduction of 2-oxobutyrate) were also formed. 4. These products, which were produced only when the catechol substrate contained a third hydroxyl group, appeared to result from the enzymic hydrolysis of the ring-fission product.
- © 1968 The Biochemical Society