The transition element molybdenum (Mo) is an essential micronutrient for plants where it is needed as a catalytically active metal during enzyme catalysis. Four plant enzymes depend on molybdenum: nitrate reductase, sulphite oxidase, xanthine dehydrogenase, and aldehyde oxidase. However, in order to gain biological activity and fulfil its function in enzymes, molybdenum has to be complexed by a pterin compound thus forming the molybdenum cofactor. In this article, the path of molybdenum from its uptake into the cell, via formation of the molybdenum cofactor and its storage, to the final modification of the molybdenum cofactor and its insertion into apo-metalloenzymes will be reviewed.
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