The reconstitution of active holoenzyme containing calcium from inactive calcium-free methanol dehydrogenase, isolated from a moxA mutant of Methylobacterium extorquens, has a pH optimum of about pH 10, with a well defined pK for the process at pH 9.3. Two Ca2+ ions were irreversibly incorporated per α2β2 tetramer. Calcium could be replaced in the incorporation process by strontium or barium, the affinities for these ions being similar to that for Ca2+. Arrhenius plots for measurement of the activation energy of reconstitution were biphasic; the lower activation energy was typical of most biological processes, while the higher activation energy was at least three times greater, implying the involvement of a large conformational change during incorporation of the cations. The activation energy for incorporation of Ba2+ was considerably higher than that for incorporation of Ca2+. The novel disulphide bridge that is at the active site of the enzyme was not involved in the incorporation process. Studies of the time courses for incorporation of 45Ca2+, production of active enzyme and changes in absorption spectra failed to show any intermediates in the incorporation process.

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