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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Oct 12;96(21):11798-803.

In vitro synthesis of the nucleotide loop of cobalamin by Salmonella typhimurium enzymes.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, 1550 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1567, USA.


In Salmonella typhimurium, the CobU, CobS, CobT, and CobC proteins have been proposed to catalyze the late steps in adenosylcobalamin biosynthesis, which define the nucleotide loop assembly pathway. This paper reports the in vitro assembly of the nucleotide loop of adenosylcobalamin from its precursors adenosylcobinamide, 5, 6-dimethylbenzimidazole, nicotinate mononucleotide, and GTP. Incubation of these precursors with the CobU, CobS, and CobT proteins resulted in the synthesis of adenosylcobalamin-5'-phosphate. This cobamide was isolated by HPLC, identified by UV-visible spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, and shown to support growth of a cobalamin auxotroph. Adenosylcobalamin-5'-phosphate was also isolated from reaction mixtures containing adenosylcobinamide-GDP (the product of the CobU reaction) and alpha-ribazole-5'-phosphate (the product of the CobT reaction) as substrates and CobS. These results allowed us to conclude that CobS is the cobalamin(-5'-phosphate) synthase enzyme in S. typhimurium. The CobC enzyme, previously shown to dephosphorylate alpha-ribazole-5'-phosphate to alpha-ribazole, was shown to dephosphorylate adenosylcobalamin-5'-phosphate to adenosylcobalamin. Adenosylcobinamide was converted to adenosylcobalamin in reactions where all four enzymes were present in the reaction mixture. This in vitro system offers a unique opportunity for the rapid synthesis and isolation of cobamides with structurally different lower-ligand bases that can be used to investigate the contributions of the lower-ligand base to cobalamin-dependent reactions.

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