Methane monooxygenase, or MMO, is an enzyme capable of oxidizing the C-H bond in methane as well as other alkanes. Methane monooxygenase belongs to the class of oxidoreductase enzymes (EC 188.8.131.52).
There are two well-studied forms of MMO: the soluble form (sMMO) and the particulate form (pMMO). The active site in sMMO contains a di-iron center bridged by an oxygen atom (Fe-O-Fe), whereas the active site in pMMO utilizes copper. Structures of both proteins have been determined by X-ray crystallography; however, the location and mechanism of the active site in pMMO is still poorly understood and is an area of active research.
The particulate methane monooxygenase and related ammonia monooxygenase are integral membrane proteins, occurring in methanotrophs and ammonia oxidisers, respectively, which are thought to be related. These enzymes have a relatively wide substrate specificity and can catalyse the oxidation of a range of substrates including ammonia, methane, halogenated hydrocarbons, and aromatic molecules. These enzymes are composed of 3 subunits - A (InterPro: IPR003393), B (InterPro: IPR006833) and C (InterPro: IPR006980) - and contain various metal centers, including copper. Particulate methane monooxygenase from Methylococcus capsulatus is an ABC homotrimer, which contains mononuclear and dinuclear copper metal centers, and a third metal center containing a metal ion whose identity in vivo is not certain.
The A subunit from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) resides primarily within the membrane and consists of 7 transmembrane helices and a beta-hairpin, which interacts with the soluble region of the B subunit. A conserved glutamate residue is thought to contribute to a metal center.
Methane monooxygenases are found in methanotrophic bacteria, a class of bacteria that exist at the interface of aerobic (oxygen-containing) and anaerobic (oxygen-devoid) environments. One of the more widely-studied bacteria of this type is Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath). This bacterium was discovered in the hot springs of Bath, England.
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- UMich Orientation of Proteins in Membranes protein/pdbid-1yew
- methane+monooxygenase at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)