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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Oxidation of 2-thioflavins by peroxides. Formation of flavin 2-S-oxides.

The reaction of 2-thioriboflavin (sulfur replacing the oxygen substituent at position 2 alpha) with hydrogen peroxide at pH approximately 10 leads to a blue flavin (lambda max = 565 nm) which was purified in stable, homogeneous form. Titrations of 2-thioflavins with m-chloroperoxybenzoic acid also yield the same blue flavins with consumption of 1 eq of peracid. Anaerobic reduction of the blue flavin by sodium dithionite requires 4e- eq, and leads to formation of 1,5-dihydro-2-thioflavin. Oxidation of the latter with O2 restores the original 2-thioflavin. pH titration of the blue flavin shows two pKa values of 2.4 and 6.6, with no apparent ionization in the pH range 8-11. These results suggest that the blue flavin is a flavin 2-S-oxide. The visible absorption spectra of flavin 2-S-oxides show a pronounced dependence on solvent polarity. This property suggests that these flavin analogs may be useful hydrophilic/hydrophobic probes of flavoprotein active sites. Flavin 2-S-oxides can be oxidized further to the 2-sulfinate and 2-sulfonate analogs, some properties of which are described.[1]


  1. Oxidation of 2-thioflavins by peroxides. Formation of flavin 2-S-oxides. Biemann, M., Claiborne, A., Ghisla, S., Massey, V., Hemmerich, P. J. Biol. Chem. (1983) [Pubmed]
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