Two putative malate dehydrogenase genes, MJ1425 and MJ0490, from Methanococcus jannaschii and one from Methanothermus fervidus were cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and their gene products were tested for the ability to catalyze pyridine nucleotide-dependent oxidation and reduction reactions of the following α-hydroxy–α-keto acid pairs: (S)-sulfolactic acid and sulfopyruvic acid; (S)-α-hydroxyglutaric acid and α-ketoglutaric acid; (S)-lactic acid and pyruvic acid; and 1-hydroxy-1,3,4,6-hexanetetracarboxylic acid and 1-oxo-1,3,4,6-hexanetetracarboxylic acid. Each of these reactions is involved in the formation of coenzyme M, methanopterin, coenzyme F420, and methanofuran, respectively. Both the MJ1425-encoded enzyme and the MJ0490-encoded enzyme were found to function to different degrees as malate dehydrogenases, reducing oxalacetate to (S)-malate using either NADH or NADPH as a reductant. Both enzymes were found to use either NADH or NADPH to reduce sulfopyruvate to (S)-sulfolactate, but the Vmax/Km value for the reduction of sulfopyruvate by NADH using the MJ1425-encoded enzyme was 20 times greater than any other combination of enzymes and pyridine nucleotides. Both the M. fervidus and the MJ1425-encoded enzyme catalyzed the NAD+-dependent oxidation of (S)-sulfolactate to sulfopyruvate. The MJ1425-encoded enzyme also catalyzed the NADH-dependent reduction of α-ketoglutaric acid to (S)-hydroxyglutaric acid, a component of methanopterin. Neither of the enzymes reduced pyruvate to (S)-lactate, a component of coenzyme F420. Only the MJ1425-encoded enzyme was found to reduce 1-oxo-1,3,4,6-hexanetetracarboxylic acid, and this reduction occurred only to a small extent and produced an isomer of 1-hydroxy-1,3,4,6-hexanetetracarboxylic acid that is not involved in the biosynthesis of methanofuran c. We conclude that the MJ1425-encoded enzyme is likely to be involved in the biosynthesis of both coenzyme M and methanopterin
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.