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J Bacteriol. 1992 Dec;174(23):7656-60.

N5-methyl-tetrahydromethanopterin:coenzyme M methyltransferase of Methanosarcina strain Gö1 is an Na(+)-translocating membrane protein.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany.


To determine the cellular localization of components of the methyltransferase system, we separated cell extracts of Methanosarcina strain Gö1 into cytoplasmic and inverted-vesicle fractions. Measurements demonstrated that 83% of the methylene-tetrahydromethanopterin reductase activity resided in the cytoplasm whereas 88% of the methyl-tetrahydromethanopterin:coenzyme M methyltransferase (methyltransferase) was associated with the vesicles. The activity of the methyltransferase was stimulated 4.6-fold by ATP and 10-fold by ATP plus a reducing agent [e.g., Ti(III)]. In addition, methyltransferase activity depended on the presence of Na+ (apparent Km = 0.7 mM) and Na+ was pumped into the lumen of the vesicles in the course of methyl transfer from methyl-tetrahydromethanopterin not only to coenzyme M but also to hydroxycobalamin. Both methyl transfer reactions were inhibited by 1-iodopropane and reconstituted by illumination. A model for the methyl transfer reactions is presented.

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