Requires a divalent metal ion (the enzyme from the bacterium Escherichia coli prefers Mn2+). The enzyme binds the closed form of the sugar and catalyses ring opening to generate a form of open-chain conformation that facilitates the isomerization reaction, which proceeds via an ene-diol mechanism . The enzyme from Escherichia coli can also convert D-arabinose to D-ribulose . The enzyme from the thermophilic bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus also converts D-altrose to D-psicose and L-galactose to L-tagatose .
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