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Nat Prod Rep. 2002 Apr;19(2):133-47.

Elucidation of methanogenic coenzyme biosyntheses: from spectroscopy to genomics.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg 24061-0308, USA.


Methanogenesis, the anaerobic production of methane from CO2 or simple carbon compounds, requires seven organic coenzymes. This review describes pathways for the biosynthesis of methanofuran, 5,6,7,8-tetrahydromethanopterin, coenzyme F420, coenzyme M (2-mercaptoethanesulfonic acid) and coenzyme B (7-mercaptoheptanoyl-L-threonine phosphate). Spectroscopic evidence for the pathways is reviewed and recent efforts are described to identify and characterize the biosynthetic enzymes from methanogenic archaea. The literature from 1971 to September 2001 is reviewed, and 169 references are cited.

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