Molybdenum Cofactor Biosynthesis
The biosynthesis of the molybdenum cofactor (Moco) is highly conserved among all kingdoms of life. In all molybdoenzymes with the exception of nitrogenase, the molybdenum atom is coordinated to a dithiolene group present in the pterin-based 6-alkyl side chain of molybdopterin (MPT). In general, the biosynthesis of Moco can be divided into three steps in eukaryotes, and four steps in bacteria and archaea: (i) the starting point is the formation of the cyclic pyranopterin monophosphate (cPMP) from 5′GTP, (ii) in the second step the two sulfur molecules are inserted into cPMP leading to the formation of MPT, (iii) in the third step the molybdenum atom is inserted into molybdopterin to form Moco and (iv) additional modification of Moco occurs in bacteria and archaea with the attachment of a nucleotide (CMP or GMP) to the phosphate group of MPT, forming the dinucleotide variants of Moco. This review will focus on the biosynthesis of Moco in bacteria, humans and plants.