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Journal Article

The methanogenic CO2 reducing-and-fixing enzyme is bifunctional and contains 46 [4Fe-4S] clusters


Ermler,  Ulrich       
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Wagner, T., Ermler, U., & Shima, S. (2016). The methanogenic CO2 reducing-and-fixing enzyme is bifunctional and contains 46 [4Fe-4S] clusters. Science Magazine, 354(6308), 114-117. doi:10.1126/science.aaf9284.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-1D2B-B
Biological methane formation starts with a challenging adenosine triphosphate (ATP)–independent carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation process. We explored this enzymatic process by solving the x-ray crystal structure of formyl-methanofuran dehydrogenase, determined here as Fwd(ABCDFG)2 and Fwd(ABCDFG)4 complexes, from Methanothermobacter wolfeii. The latter 800-kilodalton apparatus consists of four peripheral catalytic sections and an electron-supplying core with 46 electronically coupled [4Fe-4S] clusters. Catalysis is separately performed by subunits FwdBD (FwdB and FwdD), which are related to tungsten-containing formate dehydrogenase, and subunit FwdA, a binuclear metal center carrying amidohydrolase. CO2 is first reduced to formate in FwdBD, which then diffuses through a 43-angstrom-long tunnel to FwdA, where it condenses with methanofuran to formyl-methanofuran. The arrangement of [4Fe-4S] clusters functions as an electron relay but potentially also couples the four tungstopterin active sites over 206 angstroms