Decyanation of vitamin B12 by a trafficking chaperone.
Biomed Pharmacother. 1997;51(9):397-403. PMID: 18779575
Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0606, USA.
The mystery of how the cyanide group in vitamin B(12) or cyanocobalamin, discovered 60 years ago, is removed, has been solved by the demonstration that the trafficking chaperone, MMACHC, catalyzes a reductive decyanation reaction. Electrons transferred from NADPH via cytosolic flavoprotein oxidoreductases are used to cleave the cobalt-carbon bond with reductive elimination of the cyanide ligand. The product, cob(II)alamin, is a known substrate for assimilation into the active cofactor forms, methylcobalamin and 5'-deoxyadenosylcobalamin, and is bound in the "base-off" state that is needed by the two B(12)-dependent target enzymes, methionine synthase and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Defects in MMACHC represent the most common cause of inborn errors of B(12) metabolism, and our results explain the observation that fibroblasts from these patients are poorly responsive to vitamin B(12) but show some metabolic correction with aquocobalamin, a cofactor form lacking the cyanide ligand, which is mirrored by patients showing poorer clinical responsiveness to cyano- versus aquocobalamin.