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The Reaction Mechanism of Xanthine Oxidase:  Evidence for Two-Electron Chemistry Rather Than Sequential One-Electron Steps

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2002, 00:00 by Amy L. Stockert, Sujata S. Shinde, Robert F. Anderson, Russ Hille
Current research on xanthine oxidase has favored a mechanism involving base-catalyzed proton abstraction from a Mo−OH group, allowing nucleophilic attack on the substrate and hydride transfer from the substrate to MoS group in the active site. During the course of this reaction mechanism, the molybdenum redox cycles from MoVI to MoIV, with reoxidation of the MoIV speices to form the EPR active MoV intermediate. However, it has also been suggested that the reaction occurs in two subsequent one-electron steps. We have determined kinetic parameters kred and kred/Kd for a variety of plausible substrates as well as the one-electron reduction potentials for these substrates. Our data indicate no correlation between these kinetic parameters and their one-electron reduction potentials, as would be expected if the enzyme were using two subsequent one-electron reduction steps. Our results provide additional support to current evidence for the favored two-electron reduction mechanism.