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Eur J Biochem. 1997 Sep 15;248(3):919-24.

The active species of 'CO2' utilized by formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase from methanogenic Archaea.

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Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie and Laboratorium für Mikrobiologie des Fachbereichs Biologie der Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany.


Formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase from methanogenic Archaea catalyzes the reversible conversion of CO2 and methanofuran to formylmethanofuran, which is an intermediate in methanogenesis from CO2, a biological process yielding approximately 0.3 billion tons of CH4 per year. With the enzyme from Methanosarcina barkeri, it is shown that CO2 rather than HCO3- is the active species of 'CO2' utilized by the dehydrogenase. Evidence is also presented that the enzyme catalyzes a methanofuran-dependent exchange between CO2 and the formyl group of formylmethanofuran. The results are consistent with N-carboxymethanofuran being an intermediate in CO2 reduction to formylmethanofuran.

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