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Wood–Ljungdahl pathway

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Wood–Ljungdahl pathway

The Wood–Ljungdahl pathway is a set of biochemical reactions used by some bacteria and archaea. It is also known as the reductive acetyl-coenzyme A (Acetyl-CoA) pathway. This pathway enables these organisms to use hydrogen as an electron donor, and carbon dioxide as an electron acceptor and as a building block for biosynthesis.

In this pathway carbon dioxide is reduced to carbon monoxide and formic acid or directly into a formyl group, the formyl group is reduced to a methyl group and then combined with the carbon monoxide and Coenzyme A to produce acetyl-CoA. Two specific enzymes participate on the carbon monoxide side of the pathway: CO Dehydrogenase and acetyl-CoA synthase. The former catalyzes the reduction of the CO2 and the latter combines the resulting CO with a methyl group to give acetyl-CoA.

The pathway occurs in bacteria and archaea, e.g. methanogens and in acetate-producing bacteria such as Clostridium. Unlike the Reverse Krebs cycle and the Calvin cycle, this process is not cyclic. A recent study of the genomes of a set of bacteria and archaea suggests that the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all cells was using the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway in a hydrothermal setting.

Other reading

  • Wood HG (February 1991). "Life with CO or CO2 and H2 as a source of carbon and energy". FASEB J. 5 (2): 156–63. PMID 1900793. 
  • Diekert G, Wohlfarth G (1994). "Metabolism of homoacetogens". Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 66 (1–3): 209–21. doi:10.1007/BF00871640. PMID 7747932. 
  • References

    Wood–Ljungdahl pathway Wikipedia


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