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Nature communications

Refining the pathway of carbide insertion into the nitrogenase M-cluster.


PMID 26259825

Abstract

Carbide insertion plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of M-cluster, the cofactor of nitrogenase. Previously, we proposed a carbide insertion pathway involving methyltransfer from SAM to a FeS precursor and hydrogen abstraction from this methyl group that initiates the radical-based precursor maturation. Here we demonstrate that the methyl group is transferred to a precursor-associated sulfur before hydrogen abstraction, thereby refining the initial steps of the carbide insertion pathway.