We previously identified a cytochrome P450 (CYP) derived from the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium as involved in degradation of acetamiprid, a neonicotinoid (NEO) insecticide. In the present study, we investigated biodegradation of other NEOs by P. chrysosporium, and attempted to identify the CYP enzyme responsible for NEO degradation. P. chrysosporium was able to degrade some NEOs (acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiacloprid) in nutrient-rich medium. Two CYPs in P. chrysosporium (PcCYPs), CYP5037B3 and CYP5147A3, were identified as major isozymes involved in metabolism of three neonicotinoids that have in common a chloropyridinyl moiety (acetamiprid, imidacloprid, and thiacloprid) by screening yeast that heterologously express PcCYPs. Both PcCYPs catalyzed cleavage of the chloropyridinyl moiety and side chain of the three NEOs by N-dealkylation, resulting in 6-chloro-3-pyridinemethanol and respective side chain fragments. In a culture of P. chrysosporium, 97 % and 74 % of imidacloprid and thiacloprid were modified to form degradation products, and one of these, 6-chloro-3-pyridinemethanol, was further degraded. These two PcCYPs catalyzed almost the same reaction but their substrate specificity and expression pattern are slightly different. Altogether, we found that P. chrysosporium degrades NEOs via the activity of at least two different CYP isozymes.
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