Characterization of active site residues of nitroalkane oxidase

Michael P. Valley, Nana S. Fenny, Shah R. Ali, Paul F. Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The flavoenzyme nitroalkane oxidase catalyzes the oxidation of primary and secondary nitroalkanes to the corresponding aldehydes and ketones plus nitrite. The structure of the enzyme shows that Ser171 forms a hydrogen bond to the flavin N5, suggesting that it plays a role in catalysis. Cys397 and Tyr398 were previously identified by chemical modification as potential active site residues. To more directly probe the roles of these residues, the S171A, S171V, S171T, C397S, and Y398F enzymes have been characterized with nitroethane as substrate. The C397S and Y398 enzymes were less stable than the wild-type enzyme, and the C397S enzyme routinely contained a substoichiometric amount of FAD. Analysis of the steady-state kinetic parameters for the mutant enzymes, including deuterium isotope effects, establishes that all of the mutations result in decreases in the rate constants for removal of the substrate proton by ∼5-fold and decreases in the rate constant for product release of ∼2-fold. Only the S171V and S171T mutations alter the rate constant for flavin oxidation. These results establish that these residues are not involved in catalysis, but rather are required for maintaining the protein structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Active site
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Flavoprotein
  • Isotope effects
  • Mutagenesis
  • Nitroalkane oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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