The cobZ gene of Methanosarcina mazei Go1 encodes the nonorthologous replacement of the alpha-ribazole-5'-phosphate phosphatase (CobC) enzyme of Salmonella enterica

J Bacteriol. 2006 Apr;188(7):2740-3. doi: 10.1128/JB.188.7.2740-2743.2006.


Open reading frame (ORF) Mm2058 of the methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina mazei strain Gö1 was shown in vivo and in vitro to encode the nonorthologous replacement of the alpha-ribazole-phosphate phosphatase (CobC; EC enzyme of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium LT2. Bioinformatics analysis of sequences available in databases tentatively identified ORF Mm2058, which was cloned under the control of an inducible promoter and was used to support growth of an S. enterica strain under conditions that demanded CobC-like activity. The Mm2058 protein was expressed with a decahistidine tag at its N terminus and was purified to homogeneity using nickel affinity chromatography. High-performance liquid chromatography followed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry showed that the Mm2058 protein had phosphatase activity that converted alpha-ribazole-5'-phosphate to alpha-ribazole, as reported for the bacterial CobC enzyme. On the basis of the data reported here, we refer to ORF Mm2058 as cobZ. We tested the prediction by Rodionov et al. (D. A. Rodionov, A. G. Vitreschak, A. A. Mironov, and M. S. Gelfand, J. Biol. Chem. 278:41148-41159, 2003) that ORF HSL01294 (also called Vng1577) encoded the nonorthologous replacement of the bacterial CobC enzyme in the extremely halophilic archaeon Halobacterium sp. strain NRC-1. A strain of the latter carrying an in-frame deletion of ORF Vng1577 was not a cobalamin auxotroph, suggesting that either there is redundancy of this function in Halobacterium or the gene was misannotated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cobamides / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Archaeal
  • Halobacterium / metabolism
  • Methanosarcina / enzymology*
  • Methanosarcina / genetics
  • Salmonella enterica / enzymology*
  • Transaminases / genetics*
  • Transaminases / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cobamides
  • CobC protein, Bacteria
  • Transaminases