Concept

Coenzyme M

Summary
Coenzyme M is a coenzyme required for methyl-transfer reactions in the metabolism of archaeal methanogens, and in the metabolism of other substrates in bacteria. It is also a necessary cofactor in the metabolic pathway of alkene-oxidizing bacteria. CoM helps eliminate the toxic epoxides formed from the oxidation of alkenes such as propylene. The structure of this coenzyme was discovered by CD Taylor and RS Wolfe in 1974 while they were studying methanogenesis, the process by which carbon dioxide is transformed into methane in some anaerobic bacteria. The coenzyme is an anion with the formula HSCH2CH2SO3-. It is named 2-mercaptoethanesulfonate and abbreviated HS–CoM. The cation is unimportant, but the sodium salt is most available. Mercaptoethanesulfonate contains both a thiol, which is the main site of reactivity, and a sulfonate group, which confers solubility in aqueous media. Biochemical role Methanogenesis The coenzyme is the C1 donor in methanogenesis. I
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