Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 150, Issue 4, pp 405–412 | Cite as

Reductive activation of the methyl-tetrahydromethanopterin: coenzyme M methyltransferase from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum strain ΔH

  • Servé W. M. Kengen
  • Judith J. Mosterd
  • Rob L. H. Nelissen
  • Jan T. Keltjens
  • Chris van der Drift
  • Godfried D. Vogels
Original Papers


The enzymatic conversion of formaldehyde to CH3S-CoM in crude extracts of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum was used as a means to investigate the methyl-tetrahydromethanopterin: HS-CoM methyltransferase reaction. All components necessary for formaldehyde conversion were shown to be present in a soluble protein fraction. This soluble cell fraction still contained a major amount of corrinoids. Apart from tetrahydromethanopterin no other soluble cofactors were required for formaldehyde conversion. The dependence of the system on catalytic amounts of ATP was shown to be specific. Several nucleoside triphosphates or ADP were unable to substitute for ATP. Remarkably, various strong reducing systems, especially titanium(III)citrate could replace ATP to a large extent. The ATP-dependent formaldehyde conversion to CH3S-CoM was inhibited in the presence of nitrous oxide, detergents or 2′,3′-dialdehyde-ATP. The results support a role for a corrinoid protein in the methyl-tetrahydromethanopterin: HS-CoM methyltransferase reaction at which ATP is involved in the activation of this protein, probably in the conversion of inactive B12a or B12r to active B12s.

Key words

Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum Activation Corrinoid enzyme Methyltransferase Methanopterin Coenzyme M 



Coenzyme M, 2-mercaptoethanesulfonate


methylcoenzyme M, 2-(methylthio)ethanesulfonate






boiled cell-free extract






2,2′-dinitro-5,5′-dithiobenzoic acid




N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N′-2-ethanesulfonic acid


piperazine-N,N′-bis[2-ethanesulfonic acid]


5′-adenylyl imidophosphate


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Servé W. M. Kengen
    • 1
  • Judith J. Mosterd
    • 1
  • Rob L. H. Nelissen
    • 1
  • Jan T. Keltjens
    • 1
  • Chris van der Drift
    • 1
  • Godfried D. Vogels
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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