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J Mol Biol. 2000 Jul 21;300(4):935-50.

Structure of coenzyme F(420) dependent methylenetetrahydromethanopterin reductase from two methanogenic archaea.

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Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Karl-von-Frisch Strasse, Marburg, 35043, Germany.


Coenzyme F(420)-dependent methylenetetrahydromethanopterin reductase (Mer) is an enzyme of the Cl metabolism in methanogenic and sulfate reducing archaea. It is composed of identical 35-40 kDa subunits and lacks a prosthetic group. The crystal structure of Mer from Methanopyrus kandleri (kMer) revealed in one crystal form a dimeric and in another a tetrameric oligomerisation state and that from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum (tMer) a dimeric state. Each monomer is primarily composed of a TIM-barrel fold enlarged by three insertion regions. Insertion regions 1 and 2 contribute to intersubunit interactions. Insertion regions 2 and 3 together with the C-terminal end of the TIM-barrel core form a cleft where the binding sites of coenzyme F(420) and methylene-tetrahydromethanopterin are postulated. Close to the coenzyme F(420)-binding site lies a rarely observed non-prolyl cis-peptide bond. It is surprising that Mer is structurally most similar to a bacterial FMN-dependent luciferase which contains a non-prolyl cis-peptide bond at the equivalent position. The structure of Mer is also related to that of NADP-dependent FAD-harbouring methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MetF). However, Mer and MetF do not show sequence similarities although they bind related substrates and catalyze an analogous reaction.

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