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Current Opinion in Structural Biology
Volume 65, 2020, Pages 9-16

Convergent pathways to biosynthesis of the versatile cofactor F420

Ghader Bashiri, Edward N Baker

Laboratory of Structural Biology, School of Biological Sciences and Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.


Cofactor F420 is historically known as the methanogenic redox cofactor, having a key role in the central metabolism of methanogens, and archaea in general. Over the past decade, however, it has become evident this cofactor is more widely distributed across archaeal and bacterial taxa, suggesting a broader role for F420 in various metabolic and ecological capacities. In this article, we focus on the recent findings that have led to a deeper understanding of F420 biosynthetic enzymes and metabolites across microorganisms.

Graphical abstract

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