CAS number 4289-98-9
PubChem 911
EC number 224-322-8
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C6H11NO3S
Molar mass 177.22 g mol−1
Supplementary data page
Structure and
n, εr, etc.
Phase behaviour
Solid, liquid, gas
Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS
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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

N-Formylmethionine (fMet) is a proteinogenic amino acid found in Bacteria and related Prokaryotic organelles. It is a derivative of the amino acid methionine in which a formyl group has been added to the amino group. It is specifically used for initiation of protein synthesis, and may be removed after.

fMet plays a crucial part in the protein synthesis of bacteria, mitochondria and chloroplasts. It is not used in cytosolic protein synthesis of eukaryotes, where eukaryotic nuclear genes are translated. It is also not used by Archaea. In the human body, fMet is recognized by the immune system as foreign material and stimulates the body to fight against potential infection.


Function in protein synthesis

fMet is a starting residue in the synthesis of proteins in bacteria, and, consequently, is located at the N-terminus of the growing polypeptide. fMet is delivered to the ribosome (30S) - mRNA complex by a specialized tRNA (tRNAfMet) which has a 3'-UAC-5' anticodon that is capable of binding with the 5'-AUG-3' start codon located on the mRNA.

fMet is coded by the same codon as methionine, AUG. However, AUG is also the translation initiation codon. When the codon is used for initiation, fMet is used instead of methionine, thereby forming the first amino acid of the nascent peptide chain. When the same codon appears later in the mRNA, normal methionine is used. Many organisms use variations of this basic mechanism.

The addition of the formyl group to methionine is catalyzed by the enzyme methionyl-tRNA formyltransferase. This modification is done after methionine has been loaded onto tRNAfMet by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase.

Note that methionine can be loaded either onto tRNAfMet or tRNAMet. However, transformylase will catalyze the addition of the formyl group to methionine only if methionine has been loaded onto tRNAfMet and NOT onto tRNAMet.

This methionine is removed from majority of proteins (both host and recombinant) by methionine aminopeptidase (MAP).[1]

Relevance to immunology

Because fMet is present in proteins made by prokaryotes but not in those made by eukaryotes, the immune system can use it to help distinguish self from non-self. Polymorphonuclear cells can bind proteins starting with N-Formylmethionine, and use them to initiate phagocytosis.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Sherman F, Stewart JW, Tsunasawa S (July 1985). "Methionine or not methionine at the beginning of a protein". BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology 3 (1): 27–31. doi:10.1002/bies.950030108. PMID 3024631. 
  2. ^ Immunology at MCG 1/phagstep
  3. ^ "The Innate Immune System: Pattern-Recognition Receptors, Antigen-Nonspecific Antimicrobial Body Molecules, and Cytokines". http://student.ccbcmd.edu/courses/bio141/lecguide/unit4/innate/prr.html. 
  4. ^ Detmers PA, Wright SD, Olsen E, Kimball B, Cohn ZA (September 1987). "Aggregation of complement receptors on human neutrophils in the absence of ligand". The Journal of Cell Biology 105 (3): 1137–45. PMC 2114803. PMID 2958480. http://www.jcb.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=2958480. 

External links

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См. также в других словарях:

  • Formylmethionine deformylase — In enzymology, a formylmethionine deformylase (EC number| is an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reaction:N formyl L methionine + H2O ightleftharpoons formate + L methionineThus, the two substrates of this enzyme are N formyl L… …   Wikipedia

  • N-formylméthionine — Structure de la (S) N formylméthionine Général Nom IUPAC …   Wikipédia en Français

  • N-Formylmethionine (data page) — The complete data for N Formylmethionine …   Wikipedia

  • N-Formylmethionine leucyl-phenylalanine — IUPAC name (2S) 2 [[(2S) 2 [[(2S) 2 Formamido 4 methylsulfanylbutanoyl]amino] 4 …   Wikipedia

  • N-formylmethionine — N formylmethionine. = formyl methionine (см.). (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • N-formylmethionine — N formilmetioninas statusas T sritis chemija formulė CH₃SCH₂CH₂CH(NHCHO)COOH atitikmenys: angl. N formylmethionine rus. N формилметионин ryšiai: sinonimas – 2 metanoilamino 4 metiltiobutano rūgštis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • N-formylmethionine — Methionine acylated on the NH2 group by a formyl (–CHO) group. This is the starting amino acid residue for virtually all bacterial polypeptides. It is also observed in mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotes. SEE ALSO: initiating codon …   Medical dictionary

  • RIBOSOMES — Les protéines, qui façonnent le phénotype de tout organisme et en sont des unités fonctionnelles (enzymes), sont synthétisées au cours de réactions matricielles hautement spécifiques. Les instructions pour la synthèse de chaque protéine sont… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Genetic code — A series of codons in part of a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule. Each codon consists of three nucleotides, usually representing a single amino acid. The nucleotides are abbreviated with the letters A, U, G and C. This is mRNA, which uses U (uracil) …   Wikipedia

  • Methionine — Methionine …   Wikipedia

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