IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase

Reaction: a formylmethanofuran + H2O + 2 oxidized ferredoxin [iron-sulfur] cluster = CO2 + a methanofuran + 2 reduced ferredoxin [iron-sulfur] cluster + 2 H+

For diagram of reaction click here.

Glossary: methanofuran a = 4-[4-(2-{[(4R*,5S*)-4,5,7-tricarboxyheptanoyl]-γ-L-glutamyl-γ-L-glutamylamino}ethyl)phenoxymethyl]furan-2-ylmethanamine

Other name(s): formylmethanofuran:acceptor oxidoreductase

Systematic name: formylmethanofuran:ferredoxin oxidoreductase

Comments: Contains a molybdopterin cofactor and numerous [4Fe-4S] clusters. In some organisms an additional subunit enables the incorporation of tungsten when molybdenum availability is low. The enzyme catalyses a reversible reaction in methanogenic archaea, and is involved in methanogenesis from CO2 as well as the oxidation of coenzyme M to CO2. The reaction is endergonic, and is driven by coupling with the soluble CoB-CoM heterodisulfide reductase via electron bifurcation.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. Karrasch, M., Börner, G., Enssle, M. and Thauer, R.K. The molybdoenzyme formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase from Methanosarcina barkeri contains a pterin cofactor. Eur. J. Biochem. 194 (1990) 367-372. [PMID: 2125267]

2. Bertram, P.A., Schmitz, R.A., Linder, D. and Thauer, R.K. Tungstate can substitute for molybdate in sustaining growth of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum. Identification and characterization of a tungsten isoenzyme of formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase. Arch. Microbiol. 161 (1994) 220-228. [PMID: 8161283]

3. Bertram, P.A., Karrasch, M., Schmitz, R.A., Bocher, R., Albracht, S.P. and Thauer, R.K. Formylmethanofuran dehydrogenases from methanogenic Archaea. Substrate specificity, EPR properties and reversible inactivation by cyanide of the molybdenum or tungsten iron-sulfur proteins. Eur. J. Biochem. 220 (1994) 477-484. [PMID: 8125106]

4. Vorholt, J.A. and Thauer, R.K. The active species of ’CO2’ utilized by formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase from methanogenic Archaea. Eur. J. Biochem. 248 (1997) 919-924. [PMID: 9342247]

5. Meuer, J., Kuettner, H.C., Zhang, J.K., Hedderich, R. and Metcalf, W.W. Genetic analysis of the archaeon Methanosarcina barkeri Fusaro reveals a central role for Ech hydrogenase and ferredoxin in methanogenesis and carbon fixation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99 (2002) 5632-5637. [PMID: 11929975]

6. Kaster, A.K., Moll, J., Parey, K. and Thauer, R.K. Coupling of ferredoxin and heterodisulfide reduction via electron bifurcation in hydrogenotrophic methanogenic archaea. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108 (2011) 2981-2986. [PMID: 21262829]

7. Wagner, T., Ermler, U. and Shima, S. The methanogenic CO2 reducing-and-fixing enzyme is bifunctional and contains 46 [4Fe-4S] clusters. Science 354 (2016) 114-117. [PMID: 27846502]

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