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Identification and characterisation of the Volvox carteri Moco carrier protein

The molybdenum cofactor (Moco) is a redox active prosthetic group found in the active site of Moco-dependent enzymes (Mo-enzymes). As Moco and its intermediates are highly sensitive towards oxidative damage, these are believed to be permanently protein bound during synthesis and upon maturation. As a major component of the plant Moco transfer and storage system, proteins have been identified that are capable of Moco binding and release but do not possess Moco-dependent enzymatic activities. The first protein found to possess these properties was the Moco carrier protein (MCP) from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here, we describe the identification and biochemical characterisation of the Volvox carteri (V. carteri) MCP and, for the first time, employ a comparative analysis to elucidate the principles behind MCP Moco binding. Doing so identified a sequence region of low homology amongst the existing MCPs, which we showed to be essential for Moco binding to V. carteri MCP.

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