A methenyl tetrahydromethanopterin cyclohydrolase and a methenyl tetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1

Authors


R. K. Thauer, Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Karl-von-Frisch-Straße, D-35043 Marburg, Germany. Fax: + 49 6421 17 8209; Tel.: + 49 6421 17 8200 E-mail: thauer@mailer.uni-marburg.de

Abstract

Recently it was found that Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 contains both tetrahydromethanopterin (H4MPT) and tetrahydrofolate (H4F) as carriers of C1 units. In this paper we report that the aerobic methylotroph contains a methenyl H4MPT cyclohydrolase (0.9 U·mg−1 cell extract protein) and a methenyl H4F cyclohydrolase (0.23 U·mg−1). Both enzymes, which were specific for their substrates, were purified and characterized and the encoding genes identified via the N-terminal amino acid sequence. The purified methenyl H4MPT cyclohydrolase with a specific activity of 630 U·mg−1 (Vmax = 1500 U·mg−1; Km = 30 µm) was found to be composed of two identical subunits of molecular mass 33 kDa. Its sequence was ≈ 40% identical to that of methenyl H4MPT cyclohydrolases from methanogenic archaea. The methenyl H4F cyclohydrolase with a specific activity of 100 U·mg−1 (Vmax = 330 U·mg−1; Km = 80 µm) was found to be composed of two identical subunits of molecular mass 22 kDa. Its sequence was not similar to that of methenyl H4MPT cyclohydrolases or to that of other methenyl H4F cyclohydrolases. Based on the specific activities in cell extract and from the growth properties of insertion mutants it is suggested that the methenyl H4MPT cyclohydrolase might have a catabolic, and the methenyl-H4F cyclohydrolase an anabolic function in the C1-unit metabolism of M. extorquens AM1.

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