Title: How Bacteria Convert Methane to Methanol at the Diiron Center in Methane Monooxygenase
Methanotrophic bacteria use methane gas as their sole source of carbon and energy. The first step in converting methane to biomass in these organisms, converting methane to methanol, takes place at a diiron center housed in the monooxygenase component of the enzyme responsible for the reaction. The net reaction is CH4 + 2 e– + 2 H+ + O2 ------> CH3OH + H2O. The structure of the enzyme and the mechanism of this chemistry forms the basis for this presentation. The work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
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