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

NIH shift in the hydroxylation of aromatic compounds by the ammonia-oxidizing bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea. Evidence against an arene oxide intermediate.

The migration of deuterium and hydrogen was observed in the aromatic hydroxylation of specifically deuterated, monosubstituted benzenes catalyzed by ammonia monooxygenase of Nitrosomonas europaea. The phenolic products of the hydroxylation of aromatics containing ortho-/para-directing substituents (F, Cl, Br, I, OH, NH2, CH3, CH2CH3, and OCH3) were primarily para-phenols. In contrast, with aromatics containing meta-directing substituents (NO2 and CN), the phenolic products were a more even mixture of meta-and para-phenols. ortho-Fluorophenol was the only ortho-phenolic product observed. The nature of the products suggested that the reaction involved an enzyme-specific, electrophilic addition to the aromatic ring so as to favor hydroxylation at either the meta- or para-positions. With the fluoro-, chloro-, and bromobenzene substrates, the values for the migration and retention of deuterium during hydroxylation (NIH shift) were nearly identical when the deuterium was either at the site of hydroxylation or at an adjacent site, indicating a possible common intermediate. The values of the NIH shift with the nitrobenzene substrate were significantly lower when the deuterium was at the site of hydroxylation than at an adjacent site, indicating the operation of a direct loss mechanism. The present results suggest that the aromatic hydroxylation involved a radical or carbocation intermediate which decayed, without the formation of an arene oxide, to form phenolic products with the accompanying direct loss of deuterium at the site of hydroxylation or the shift of the deuterium to an adjacent site.[1]


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