Function of Molybdenum Insertases
For most organisms molybdenum is essential for life as it is found in the active site of various vitally important molybdenum dependent enzymes (Mo-enzymes). Here, molybdenum is bound to a pterin derivative called molybdopterin (MPT), thus forming the molybdenum cofactor (Moco). Synthesis of Moco involves the consecutive action of numerous enzymatic reaction steps, whereby molybdenum insertases (Mo-insertases) catalyze the final maturation step, i.e., the metal insertion reaction yielding Moco. This final maturation step is subdivided into two partial reactions, each catalyzed by a distinctive Mo-insertase domain. Initially, MPT is adenylylated by the Mo-insertase G-domain, yielding MPT-AMP which is used as substrate by the E-domain. This domain catalyzes the insertion of molybdate into the MPT dithiolene moiety, leading to the formation of Moco-AMP. Finally, the Moco-AMP phosphoanhydride bond is cleaved by the E-domain to liberate Moco from its synthesizing enzyme. Thus formed, Moco is physiologically active and may be incorporated into the different Mo-enzymes or bind to carrier proteins instead.