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Eur J Biochem. 1989 Sep 1;184(1):63-8.

Methyl-coenzyme-M reductase from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum (strain Marburg). Purity, activity and novel inhibitors.

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  • 1Laboratorium für Mikrobiologie, Fachbereich Biologie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Methyl-coenzyme-M reductase from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum (strain Marburg) was purified to a stage where, besides the alpha, beta and gamma subunits, no additional polypeptides were detectable in the preparation. Under appropriate conditions the enzyme was found to catalyze the reduction of methyl-CoM with 7-mercaptoheptanoylthreonine phosphate (H-S-HTP) to CH4 at a specific rate of 2.5 protein-1. This finding contradicts a recent report that methyl-CoM reductase is only active when some contaminating proteins are present. The two polypeptides encoded by the open reading frames ORF1 and ORF2 of the methyl-CoM reductase transcription unit did not co-purify with the alpha, beta and gamma subunits. They were neither required nor did they stimulate the activity under the assay conditions. 3-Bromopropanesulfonate (apparent Ki = 0.05 microM) and 2-azidoethanesulfonate (apparent Ki = 1 microM) were found to be two new competitive inhibitors of methyl-CoM reductase. Both inhibitors were considerably more effective than the "classical" 2-bromoethanesulfonate (apparent Ki = 4 microM).

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