Molybdenum (Mo) is a very scarce element whose function is fundamental in living beings within the active site of Mo-oxidoreductases, playing key roles in the metabolism of N, S, purines, hormone biosynthesis, transformation of drugs and xenobiotics, etc. In eukaryotes, each step from Mo acquisition until its incorporation into a biologically active molybdenum cofactor (Moco) together with the assembly of this Moco in Mo-enzymes is almost understood. The deficiency in function of a particular molybdoenzyme can be critical for the survival of the organism dependent on the pathway involved. However, incapacity in forming a functional Moco has a pleiotropic effect in the different processes involving this cofactor. A detailed overview of Mo metabolism: (a) specific transporters for molybdate, (b) the universal biosynthesis pathway for Moco from GTP, (c) Moco-carrier and Moco-binding proteins for Moco transfer and (d) Mo-enzymes, is analyzed in light of recent findings and three systems are compared, the unicellular microalga Chlamydomonas, the plant Arabidopsis and humans.
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