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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2009 Oct;13(4):484-91. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.07.007. Epub 2009 Aug 7.

The tinker, tailor, soldier in intracellular B12 trafficking.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5606, USA.


The recognition of eight discrete genetic complementation groups among patients with inherited cobalamin disorders provided early insights into the complexity of a cofactor-processing pathway that supports only two known B(12)-dependent enzymes in mammals. With the identification of all eight genes now completed, biochemical interrogations of their functions have started and are providing novel insights into a trafficking pathway involving porters that tinker with and tailor the active cofactor forms and editors that ensure the fidelity of the cofactor loading process. The principles of sequestration and escorted delivery of a rare and reactive organometallic cofactor that are emerging from studies on B(12) might be of general relevance to other cofactor trafficking pathways.

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