Methanofuran describes a family of chemical compounds found in methanogenic archaea. 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
Methanofuran converts to formylmethanofuran in an early stage of methanogenesis. The enzyme formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase (EC: 126.96.36.199) formylates methanofuran using CO
2, the primary C1 source in methanogenesis.
Deformylation of MFR
The enzyme formylmethanofuran:tetrahydromethanopterin formyltransferase catalyzes the transfer of the formyl group from formylmethanofuran to N5 on tetrahydromethanopterin, H
4MPT. This enzyme has been crystallized; it contains no prosthetic group.
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