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Biochemistry (Mosc). 2003 Nov;68(11):1159-70.

Structural and functional features of formate hydrogen lyase, an enzyme of mixed-acid fermentation from Escherichia coli.

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Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, Yerevan State University, Yerevan, 375049, Armenia.


Formate hydrogen lyase from Escherichia coli is a membrane-bound complex that oxidizes formic acid to carbon dioxide and molecular hydrogen. Under anaerobic growth conditions and fermentation of sugars (glucose), it exists in two forms. One form is constituted by formate dehydrogenase H and hydrogenase 3, and the other one is the same formate dehydrogenase and hydrogenase 4; the presence of small protein subunits, carriers of electrons, is also probable. Other proteins may also be involved in formation of the enzyme complex, which requires the presence of metal (nickel-cobalt). Its formation also depends on the external pH and the presence of formate. Activity of both forms requires F(0)F(1)-ATPase; this explains dependence of the complex functioning on proton-motive force. It is also possible that the formate hydrogen lyase complex will exhibit its own proton-translocating function.

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