MeaB is a component of the methylmalonyl-CoA mutase complex required for protection of the enzyme from inactivation

J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 2;279(14):13652-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M312852200. Epub 2004 Jan 20.


Adenosylcobalamin-dependent methylmalonyl-CoA mutase catalyzes the interconversion of methylmalonyl-CoA and succinyl-CoA. In humans, deficiencies in the mutase lead to methylmalonic aciduria, a rare disease that is fatal in the first year of life. Such inherited deficiencies can result from mutations in the mutase structural gene or from mutations that impair the acquisition of cobalamins. Recently, a human gene of unknown function, MMAA, has been implicated in methylmalonic aciduria (Dobson, C. M., Wai, T., Leclerc, D., Wilson, A., Wu, X., Dore, C., Hudson, T., Rosenblatt, D. S., and Gravel, R. A. (2002) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 99, 15554-15559). MMAA orthologs are widespread in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. In Methylobacterium extorquens AM1, a mutant defective in the MMAA homolog meaB was unable to grow on C(1) and C(2) compounds because of the inability to convert methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA (Korotkova N., Chistoserdova, L., Kuksa, V., and Lidstrom, M. E. (2002) J. Bacteriol. 184, 1750-1758). Here we demonstrate that this defect is not due to the absence of adenosylcobalamin but due to an inactive form of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. The presence of active mutase in double mutants defective in MeaB and in the synthesis of either R-methylmalonyl-CoA or adenosylcobalamin indicates that MeaB is necessary for protection of mutase from inactivation during catalysis. MeaB and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase from M. extorquens were cloned and purified in their active forms. We demonstrated that MeaB forms a complex with methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and stimulates in vitro mutase activity. These results support the hypothesis that MeaB functions to protect methylmalonyl-CoA mutase from irreversible inactivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Burkholderia / enzymology
  • Burkholderia / genetics
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Methylmalonyl-CoA Mutase / metabolism*
  • Methylobacterium extorquens / enzymology*
  • Methylobacterium extorquens / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • MeaB protein, Emericella nidulans
  • Transcription Factors
  • Methylmalonyl-CoA Mutase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY388648
  • GENBANK/AY394003