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Structure of the methanofurans

Methanofuran describes a family of chemical compounds found in methanogenic archaea.[1] These species feature a 2-aminomethylfuran linked to phenoxy group. At least three different end groups are recognized: R = tricarboxyheptanoyl (methanofuran), glutamyl-glutamyl (methanofuran b), tricarboxy-2-hydroxyheptanoyl (methanofuran c, see picture).

Formylation of MFR[edit]

Methanofuran converts to formylmethanofuran in an early stage of methanogenesis. The enzyme formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase (EC: formylates methanofuran using CO
, the primary C1 source in methanogenesis.[2]

Deformylation of MFR[edit]

The enzyme formylmethanofuran:tetrahydromethanopterin formyltransferase catalyzes the transfer of the formyl group from formylmethanofuran to N5 on tetrahydromethanopterin, H
. This enzyme has been crystallized; it contains no prosthetic group.[3]