MSU scientists solve additional pieces of ‘extraordinary cofactor’ puzzle

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Robert Hausinger (view larger image)

Researchers at Michigan State University have made new progress in understanding how microbial cells manufacture a recently discovered ‘cofactor,’ an unusually complex molecule that is attached to a protein and allows it to complete a simple biological process. The results are published in a paper Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Enzymes, the biological molecules that accelerate the complex chemical reactions occurring everywhere in our lives, often require additional components in order to function. These ‘cofactors’ can either be inorganic, organic, or a combination of both. MSU researchers had previously discovered what Bob Hausinger, a professor of microbiology and molecular genetics and of biochemistry and molecular biology, termed an ‘extraordinary cofactor.’

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