Malate dehydrogenase: distribution, function and properties

Gen Physiol Biophys. 1998 Sep;17(3):193-210.


Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) (EC catalyzes the conversion of oxaloacetate and malate. This reaction is important in cellular metabolism, and it is coupled with easily detectable cofactor oxidation/reduction. It is a rather ubiquitous enzyme, for which several isoforms have been identified, differing in their subcellular localization and their specificity for the cofactor NAD or NADP. The nucleotide binding characteristics can be altered by a single amino acid change. Multiple amino acid sequence alignments of MDH show that there is a low degree of primary structural similarity, apart from several positions crucial for catalysis, cofactor binding and the subunit interface. Despite the low amino acids sequence identity their 3-dimensional structures are very similar. MDH is a group of multimeric enzymes consisting of identical subunits usually organized as either dimer or tetramers with subunit molecular weights of 30-35 kDa. MDH has been isolated from different sources including archaea, eubacteria, fungi, plant and mammals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Archaea / enzymology
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Fungi / enzymology
  • Isoenzymes / chemistry
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Malate Dehydrogenase / chemistry*
  • Malate Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Mammals
  • NAD / metabolism
  • NADP / metabolism
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Protein Conformation


  • Isoenzymes
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • NAD
  • NADP
  • Malate Dehydrogenase