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Eur J Biochem. 1997 Oct 1;249(1):280-5.

Methanol:coenzyme M methyltransferase from Methanosarcina barkeri. Zinc dependence and thermodynamics of the methanol:cob(I)alamin methyltransferase reaction.

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


In Methanosarcina barkeri, methanogenesis from methanol is initiated by the formation of methyl-coenzyme M from methanol and coenzyme M. This methyl transfer reaction is catalyzed by two enzymes, designated methyltransferases 1 (MT1) and 2 (MT2). Transferase MT1, which is composed of a 50-kDa subunit, MtaB, and a 27-kDa corrinoid-harbouring subunit, MtaC, has been shown recently to catalyze the methylation of free cob(I)alamin with methanol [Sauer, K., Harms, U. & Thauer, R. K. (1997) Eur. J. Biochem. 243, 670-677]. We report here that this reaction is catalyzed by subunit MtaB overproduced in Escherichia coli. MtaB also catalyzed the formation of methanol from methylcobalamin and H2O, the hydrolysis being associated with a free-energy change deltaG(o)' of approximately +7.0 kJ/mol. MtaB was found to contain 1 mol zinc, and its activity to be zinc dependent (pK(Zn2+) = 9.3). The zinc dependence of the MT2 (MtaA)-catalyzed reaction is also described (pK(Zn2+) = 9.6).

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