Molybdenum: biological activity and metabolism

Dalton Transactions : an International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
R R Mendel

Abstract

Molybdenum and tungsten are available to all organisms, with molybdenum having the far greater abundance and availability. Molybdenum occurs in a wide range of metalloenzymes in bacteria, fungi, algae, plants and animals, while tungsten was found to be essential only for a limited range of bacteria. In order to gain biological activity, molybdenum has to be complexed by a pterin compound, thus forming a molybdenum cofactor. In this article I will review the way that molybdenum takes from uptake into the cell, via formation of the molybdenum cofactor and its storage, to the final modification of molybdenum cofactor and its insertion into apo-metalloenzymes.

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