Alkylmercury lyase

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alkylmercury lyase
Structure of the mercury-bound form of E.coli MerB. PDB 3f0p [1]
EC no.
CAS no.72560-99-7
IntEnzIntEnz view
ExPASyNiceZyme view
MetaCycmetabolic pathway
PDB structuresRCSB PDB PDBe PDBsum
Gene OntologyAmiGO / QuickGO

In enzymology, an alkylmercury lyase (EC is an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reaction

an alkylmercury + H+ an alkane + Hg2+

Thus, the two substrates of this enzyme are alkylmercury and H+, whereas its two products are alkane and a mercury ion.

This enzyme belongs to the family of lyases, specifically the "catch-all" class of lyases that do not fit into any other sub-class. The systematic name of this enzyme class is alkylmercury mercuric-lyase (alkane-forming). Other names in common use include organomercury lyase, organomercurial lyase, and alkylmercury mercuric-lyase.

The enzyme converts methyl mercury to the much less toxic elemental form of the metal.


  1. ^ Lafrance-Vanasse, J.; Lefebvre, M.; Di Lello, P.; Sygusch, J.; Omichinski, J. G. (2008). "Crystal Structures of the Organomercurial Lyase MerB in Its Free and Mercury-bound Forms: INSIGHTS INTO THE MECHANISM OF METHYLMERCURY DEGRADATION". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 284 (2): 938–944. doi:10.1074/jbc.M807143200. PMID 19004822.
  • Tezuka T, Tonomura K (July 1976). "Purification and properties of an enzyme catalyzing the splitting of carbon-mercury linkages from mercury-resistant Pseudomonas K-62 strain. I. Splitting enzyme 1". J. Biochem. Tokyo. 80 (1): 79–87. doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.jbchem.a131261. PMID 9382.