Intermediate Q from soluble methane monooxygenase hydroxylates the mechanistic substrate probe norcarane: Evidence for a stepwise reaction

B. J. Brazeau, R. N. Austin, C. Tarr, John Taylor Groves, J. D. Lipscomb

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Norcarane is avaluable mechanistic probe for enzyme-catalyzed hydrocarbon oxidation reactions because different products or product distributions result from concerted, radical, and cation based reactions. Soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) from Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b catalyzes the oxidation of norcarane to afford 3-hydroxymethylcyclohexene and 3-cycloheptenol, compounds characteristic of radical and cationic intermediates, respectively, in addition to 2- and 3-norcaranols. Past single turnover transient kinetic studies have identified several optically distinct intermediates from the catalytic cycle of the hydroxylase component of sMMO. Thus, the reaction between norcarane and key reaction intermediates can be directly monitored. The presence of norcarane increases the rate of decay of only one intermediate, the high-valent bis-μ-oxo Fe(IV)2 cluster-containing species compound Q, showing that it is responsible for the majority of the oxidation chemistry. The observation of products from both radical and cationic intermediates from norcarane oxidation catalyzed by sMMO is consistent with a mechanism in which an initial substrate radical intermediate is formed by hydrogen atom abstraction. This intermediate then undergoes either oxygen rebound, intramolecular rearrangement followed by oxygen rebound, or loss of a second electron to yield a cationic intermediate to which OH- is transferred. The estimated lower limit of 20 ps for the lifetime of the putative radical intermediate is in accord with values determined from previous studies of sterically hindered sMMO probes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11831-11837
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 5 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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