Molybdopterin cofactor from Methanobacterium formicicum formate dehydrogenase

H. D. May, N. L. Schauer, J. G. Ferry

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26 Scopus citations


The molybdopterin cofactor from the formate dehydrogenase of Methanobacterium formicicum was studied. The cofactor was released by guanidine denaturation of homogeneous enzyme, which also released greater than 80% of the molybdenum present in the enzyme. The anoxically isolated cofactor was nonfluorescent, but after exposure to air it fluoresced with spectra similar to those of described molybdopterin cofactors. Aerobic release from acid-denatured formate dehydrogenase in the presence of I2 and potassium iodide produced a mixture of fluorescent products. Alkaline permanganate oxidation of the mixture yielded pterin-6-carboxylic acid as the only detectable fluorescent product. The results showed that the cofactor from formate dehydrogenase contained a pterin nucleus with a 6-alkyl side chain of unknown structure. Covalently bound phosphate was also present. The isolated cofactor was unable to complement the cofactor-deficient nitrate reductase of the Neurospora crassa nit-1 mutant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-504
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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