CbiZ, an amidohydrolase enzyme required for salvaging the coenzyme B 12 precursor cobinamide in archaea

Jesse D. Woodson, Jorge C. Escalante-Semerena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The existence of a pathway for salvaging the coenzyme B12 precursor dicyanocobinamide (Cbi) from the environment was established by genetic and biochemical means. The pathway requires the function of a previously unidentified amidohydrolase enzyme that converts adenosylcobinamide to adenosylcobyric acid, a bona fide intermediate of the de novo coenzyme B 12 biosynthetic route. The cbiZ gene of the methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina mazei strain Göl was cloned, was overproduced in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant protein was isolated to homogeneity. HPLC, UV-visible spectroscopy, MS, and bioassay data established adenosylcobyric as the corrinoid product of the CbiZ-catalyzed reaction. Inactivation of the cbiZ gene in the extremely halophilic archaeon Halobacterium sp. strain NRC-1 blocked the ability of this archaeon to salvage Cbi. cbiZ function restored Cbi salvaging in a strain of the bacterium Salmonella enterica, whose Cbi-salvaging pathway was blocked. The salvaging of Cbi through the CbiZ enzyme appears to be an archaeal strategy because all of the genomes of B12-producing archaea have a cbiZ ortholog. Reasons for the evolution of two distinct pathways for Cbi salvaging in prokaryotes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3591-3596
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 9 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'CbiZ, an amidohydrolase enzyme required for salvaging the coenzyme B 12 precursor cobinamide in archaea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this