Molybdenum and Tungsten-Containing Enzymes: An Overview
Molybdenum is essential to most organisms, being found in the active site of enzymes that catalyze redox reactions involving carbon, nitrogen and sulfur atoms of key metabolites. Some of the molybdenum-dependent reactions constitute key steps in the global biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur, with particular emphasis on the atmospheric dinitrogen fixation into ammonium. Presently, more than 50 molybdoenzymes are known. The great majority are prokaryotic, with eukaryotes holding only a restricted number of molybdoenzymes. Tungsten, probably because of its limited bioavailability, is less used, being found most often in anaerobic thermophilic prokaryotes.