Cofactor F420 is an important cofactor from mathanogenic Archaea and a number of bacterial taxa (including human pathogens such as Mycobacterium). F420 is a low potential hydride carrier, and although it's a flavin analogue (a deazoflavin), it's electrochemical properties more closely resemble those of nicotinamide cofacors (e.g., NADH). F420 has physiological roles in methanogenesis, drug activation and antibiotic biosynthesis.
In a collaborative work done at the Australian National University (@Jackson_Lab), Auckland University (Ghader Bashiri and Ted Baker), CSIRO (@Oz_Biocat and @greeninglab - now at Monash University) and the University of British Columbia (Nobuhiko Tokuriki), we've revised the biosynthetic pathway for this cofactor. The revision includes correcting a misidentified metabolite and de-orphaning a highly conserved gene from the F420 biosynthesis operon that had previously not had a functional assignation. Armed with this new information we've also been able to produce mature cofactor F420 in E. coli for the first time. The preprint for this work is currently on BioRXiv.