Measurement of the intramolecular isotope effect on aliphatic hydroxylation by chromobacterium violaceum phenylalanine hydroxylase

Aram J. Panay, Paul F. Fitzpatrick

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The non-heme iron enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase from "genus-species" Chromobacterium violaceum has previously been shown to catalyze the hydroxylation of benzylic and aliphatic carbons in addition to the normal aromatic hydroxylation reaction. The intrinsic isotope effect for hydroxylation of 3-cyclochexylalanine by the enzyme was determined in order to gain insight into the reactivity of the iron center. With 3-[2H 11-cyclohexyl]alanine as the substrate, the isotope effect on the kcat value was 1, consistent with an additional step in the overall reaction being significantly slower than hydroxylation. Consequently, the isotope effect was determined as an intramolecular effect by measuring the amount of deuterium lost in the hydroxylation of 3-[1,2,3,4,5,6- 2H6-cyclohexyl]alanine. The ratio of 4-HO- cyclohexylalanine that retained deuterium to that which lost one deuterium atom was 2.8. This gave a calculated value of 12.6 for the ratio of the primary deuterium kinetic isotope effect to the secondary isotope effect. This value is consistent with hydrogen atom abstraction by an electrophilic Fe(O) center and a contribution of quantum-mechanical tunneling to the reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5584-5585
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 28 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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