Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 423–437 | Cite as

Role of vitamin B12 on methylmalonyl-CoA mutase activity

  • Tóshiko Takahashi-IñiguezEmail author
  • Enrique García-Hernandez
  • Roberto Arreguín-Espinosa
  • María Elena Flores


Vitamin B12 is an organometallic compound with important metabolic derivatives that act as cofactors of certain enzymes, which have been grouped into three subfamilies depending on their cofactors. Among them, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM) has been extensively studied. This enzyme catalyzes the reversible isomerization of L-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA using adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl) as a cofactor participating in the generation of radicals that allow isomerization of the substrate. The crystal structure of MCM determined in Propionibacterium freudenreichii var. shermanii has helped to elucidate the role of this cofactor AdoCbl in the reaction to specify the mechanism by which radicals are generated from the coenzyme and to clarify the interactions between the enzyme, coenzyme, and substrate. The existence of human methylmalonic acidemia (MMA) due to the presence of mutations in MCM shows the importance of its role in metabolism. The recent crystallization of the human MCM has shown that despite being similar to the bacterial protein, there are significant differences in the structural organization of the two proteins. Recent studies have identified the involvement of an accessory protein called MMAA, which interacts with MCM to prevent MCM’s inactivation or acts as a chaperone to promote regeneration of inactivated enzyme. The interdisciplinary studies using this protein as a model in different organisms have helped to elucidate the mechanism of action of this isomerase, the impact of mutations at a functional level and their repercussion in the development and progression of MMA in humans. It is still necessary to study the mechanisms involved in more detail using new methods.

Key words

Vitamin B12 Methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM) MMAA MeaB Methylmalonic academia (MMA) Protectase Reactivase 

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Copyright information

© Zhejiang University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tóshiko Takahashi-Iñiguez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Enrique García-Hernandez
    • 2
  • Roberto Arreguín-Espinosa
    • 2
  • María Elena Flores
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Institute of Biomedical ResearchNational Autonomous University of MexicoMexicoMexico
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry of Biomacromolecules, Institute of ChemistryNational Autonomous University of MexicoMexicoMexico

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