Microbial protein structure

Seigo Shima, PhD

Research Area

Methane is an end product of the anaerobic degradation of organic materials. This combustible gas is useful as a fuel but also it is a potential greenhouse gas. Huge amounts of methane are produced by methanogenic archaea on Earth. Increasing anthropogenic methane production could become a global issue. We are interested in the enzymes involved in methanogenesis from H2 and CO2. In the hydrogenotrophic methanogenic pathway, many unique enzymes are involved. These methanogenic enzymes contain novel cofactors and use unique coenzymes as the substrates. My group is mainly working on three major projects on the methanogenic enzymes:

- Structure and function of the enzymes involved in hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis.

- Catalytic mechanism of [Fe]-hydrogenase.

- Biosynthesis of the [Fe]-hydrogenase cofactor.

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