Advances of structure, function, and catalytic mechanism of methyl-coenzyme M reductase

Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao. 2021 Dec 25;37(12):4147-4157. doi: 10.13345/j.cjb.200830.


Methanogens are unique microorganisms for methane production and the main contributor of the biogenic methane in atmosphere. Methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) catalyzes the last step of methane production in methanogenesis and the first step of methane activation in anaerobic oxidation of methane. The genes encoding this enzyme are highly conserved and are widely used as a marker in the identification and phylogenetic study of archaea. There has been a longstanding interest in its unique cofactor F430 and the underpinning mechanisms of enzymatic cleavage of alkane C-H bond. The recent breakthroughs of high-resolution protein and catalytic-transition-state structures further advanced the structure-function study of Mcr. In particular, the recent discovery of methyl-coenzyme M reductase-like (Mcr-like) enzymes that activates the anaerobic degradation of non-methane alkanes has attracted much interest in the molecular mechanisms of C-H activation without oxygen. This review summarized the advances on function-structure-mechanism study of Mcr/Mcr-like enzymes. Additionally, future directions in anaerobic oxidation of alkanes and greenhouse-gas control using Mcr/Mcr-like enzymes were proposed.

PMID:34984864 | DOI:10.13345/j.cjb.200830


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