Degradation of the diarylpropane lignin model compound 1-(3′,4′-diethoxyphenyl)-1,3-dihydroxy-2-(4′'-methoxyphenyl)-propane and derivatives by the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium

Research paper by Akio Enoki, Michael H. Gold

Indexed on: 01 Aug '82Published on: 01 Aug '82Published in: Archives of Microbiology


The white rot basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium metabolized 1-(3′,4′-diethoxyphenyl)-1,3(dihydroxy)-2-(4′'-methoxyphenyl)-propane (XII) in low nitrogen stationary cultures, conditions under which the ligninolytic enzyme system is expressed. 3,4-Diethoxybenzyl alcohol (IV), 1,2(dihydroxy)-1-(4′-methoxyphenyl)ethane (XX) and anisyl alcohol were isolated as metabolic products indicating an initial α, β bond cleavage of this dimer. Exogenously added XX was rapidly converted to anisyl alcohol, indicating that XX is an intermediate in the metabolism of XII. Fungal cleavage of the α, β bond of 1-(3′-4′-diethoxyphenyl)-1-(hydroxy)-2-(4′'-methoxyphenyl)ethane (XI) also occurred, indicating that a γ hydroxymethyl group is not a prerequisite for this reaction. P. chrysosporium also metabolized 1-(4′-ethoxy-3′-methoxyphenyl)-2,2(dihydroxy)-2-(4′'-methoxyphenyl)propane-1-ol (XIII). The major products of the degradation of this triol included 4-ethoxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol (III) and 2-hydroxy-1-(4′-methoxyphenyl)-1-oxoethane (XXI). The nature of the products formed indicates that this triol is also cleaved directly at the α,β bond. The significant difference in the nature of the products formed from the diaryl propane (XII) and the triol (XIII), however, suggests that XIII is not an intermediate in the major pathway for the degradation of XII. Metabolites were identified after comparison with chemically synthesized standards by GLC-mass spectrometry.