Characterization and Structural Analysis of an Active Particulate Methane Monooxygenase Trimer From Methylococcus Capsulatus (Bath)

Biochemistry. 2005 Aug 23;44(33):10954-65. doi: 10.1021/bi050820u.


The oxidation of methane to methanol in methanotrophs is catalyzed by the enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO). Two distinct forms of this enzyme exist, a soluble cytoplasmic MMO (sMMO) and a membrane-bound particulate form (pMMO). We describe here the biochemical characterization of a stable and active purified pMMO hydroxylase (pMMO-H) and report a three-dimensional (3D) structure, determined by electron microscopy and single-particle analysis at 23 A resolution. Both biochemical and structural data indicate that pMMO hydroxylase is trimeric, with each monomer unit comprised of three polypeptides of 47, 26, and 23 kDa. Comparison of the recent crystal structure [Lieberman, R. L., and Rosenzweig, A. C. (2005) Nature 434, 177] of an uncharacterized pMMO-H complex with the three-dimensional (3D) structure determined here yielded a good match between the principal features and the organization of the enzyme monomers into trimers. The data presented here advance our current understanding of particulate methane monooxygenase function by the characterization of an active form of the enzyme and the corresponding 3D structure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / ultrastructure*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Methane / metabolism
  • Methanol / metabolism
  • Methylococcus capsulatus / enzymology*
  • Methylococcus capsulatus / ultrastructure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygenases / chemistry
  • Oxygenases / metabolism
  • Oxygenases / ultrastructure*
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Oxygenases
  • methane monooxygenase
  • Methane
  • Methanol