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

Elimination reactions in the medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase: bioactivation of cytotoxic 4-thiaalkanoic acids.

A range of 4-thiaacyl-CoA derivatives has been synthesized to study the bioactivation of cytotoxic fatty acids by the mitochondrial medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase and the peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase. Both enzymes catalyze alpha-proton abstraction from normal acyl-CoA substrates with elimination of a beta-hydride equivalent to the FAD prosthetic group. In competition with this oxidation reaction, 4-thiaacyl-CoA thioesters undergo dehydrogenase-catalyzed beta-elimination, providing that the corresponding thiolates are sufficiently good leaving groups and can be accommodated by the active site of the enzyme. Thus, the dehydrogenase catalyzes the elimination of 2-mercaptobenzothiazole and 4-nitrothiophenolate from 4-(2-benzothiazole)-4-thiabutanoyl-CoA and 4-(4-nitrophenyl)-4-thiabutanoyl-CoA, respectively. However, the 2,4-dinitrophenyl-analogue appears too bulky and the unsubstituted thiophenyl-derivative is insufficiently activated for significant elimination. Molecular modeling shows that steric interference from the flavin ring dictates a syn rather than an anti elimination. Acryloyl-CoA, the other product of 4-thiaacyl-CoA elimination reactions, is not a significant inactivator of the medium-chain dehydrogenase. In contrast, the irreversible inactivation observed during beta-elimination using 5,6-dichloro-4-thia-5-hexenoyl-CoA (DCTH-CoA), 5,6-dichloro-7,7,7-trifluoro-4-thia-5-heptenoyl-CoA (DCTFTH-CoA), and 6-chloro-5,5,6-trifluoro-4-thiahexanoyl-CoA (CTFTH-CoA) is caused by release of cytotoxic thiolate products within the active site of the dehydrogenase. The double bond between C5 and C6 found in the vinylic analogues DCTH- and DCTFTH-CoA is not essential for enzyme inactivation, although CTFTH-CoA is a weaker inhibitor of the dehydrogenase. Mechanism-based inactivation with CTFTH-CoA requires elimination, is unaffected by exogenous nucleophiles, and is strongly protected by octanoyl-CoA. The peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase efficiently oxidizes 4-thiaacyl-CoA analogues, but is only rapidly inactivated by DCTFTH-CoA. The variable ratio of elimination to oxidation observed for DCTH-, DCTFTH-, and CTFTH-CoA may influence the metabolism of the corresponding cytotoxic alkanoic acids in vivo.[1]


  1. Elimination reactions in the medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase: bioactivation of cytotoxic 4-thiaalkanoic acids. Baker-Malcolm, J.F., Haeffner-Gormley, L., Wang, L., Anders, M.W., Thorpe, C. Biochemistry (1998) [Pubmed]
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