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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2001 Oct;3(5):789-806.

The covalent FAD of monoamine oxidase: structural and functional role and mechanism of the flavinylation reaction.

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Department of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The family of flavoenzymes in which the flavin coenzyme redox cofactor is covalently attached to the protein through an amino acid side chain is covered in this review. Flavin-protein covalent linkages have been shown to exist through each of five known linkages: (a) 8alpha-N(3)-histidyl, (b) 8alpha-N(1)-histidyl, (c) 8alpha-S-cysteinyl, (d) 8alpha-O-tyrosyl, or (e) 6-S-cysteinyl with the flavin existing at either the flavin mononucleotide or flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) levels. This class of enzymes is widely distributed in diverse biological systems and catalyzes a variety of enzymatic reactions. Current knowledge on the mechanism of covalent flavin attachment is discussed based on studies on the 8alpha-S-cysteinylFAD of monoamine oxidases A and B, as well as studies on other flavoenzymes. The evidence supports an autocatalytic quinone-methide mechanism of protein flavinylation. Proposals to explain the structural and mechanistic advantages of a covalent flavin linkage in flavoenzymes are presented. It is concluded that multiple factors are involved and include: (a) stabilization of the apoenzyme structure, (b) steric alignment of the cofactor in the active site to facilitate catalysis, and (c) modulation of the redox potential of the covalent flavin through electronic effects of 8alpha-substitution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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