Cyclopentanone 1,2-monooxygenase, a flavoprotein produced by Pseudomonas sp. strain NCIMB 9872 upon induction by cyclopentanol or cyclopentanone (M. Griffin and P. W. Trudgill, Biochem. J. 129:595-603, 1972), has been utilized as a biocatalyst in Baeyer-Villiger oxidations. To further explore this biocatalytic potential and to discover new genes, we have cloned and sequenced a 16-kb chromosomal locus of strain 9872 that is herein reclassified as belonging to the genus COMAMONAS: Sequence analysis revealed a cluster of genes and six potential open reading frames designated and grouped in at least four possible transcriptional units as (orf11-orf10-orf9)-(cpnE-cpnD-orf6-cpnC)-(cpnR-cpnB-cpnA)-(orf3-orf4 [partial 3' end]). The cpnABCDE genes encode enzymes for the five-step conversion of cyclopentanol to glutaric acid catalyzed by cyclopentanol dehydrogenase, cyclopentanone 1,2-monooxygenase, a ring-opening 5-valerolactone hydrolase, 5-hydroxyvalerate dehydrogenase, and 5-oxovalerate dehydrogenase, respectively. Inactivation of cpnB by using a lacZ-Km(r) cassette resulted in a strain that was not capable of growth on cyclopentanol or cyclopentanone as a sole carbon and energy source. The presence of sigma(54)-dependent regulatory elements in front of the divergently transcribed cpnB and cpnC genes supports the notion that cpnR is a regulatory gene of the NtrC type. Knowledge of the nucleotide sequence of the cpn genes was used to construct isopropyl-beta-thio-D-galactoside-inducible clones of Escherichia coli cells that overproduce the five enzymes of the cpn pathway. The substrate specificities of CpnA and CpnB were studied in particular to evaluate the potential of these enzymes and establish the latter recombinant strain as a bioreagent for Baeyer-Villiger oxidations. Although frequently nonenantioselective, cyclopentanone 1,2-monooxygenase was found to exhibit a broader substrate range than the related cyclohexanone 1,2-monooxygenase from Acinetobacter sp. strain NCIMB 9871. However, in a few cases opposite enantioselectivity was observed between the two biocatalysts.