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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Nov 1;298(2):697-702.

Cytochrome P450cam-catalyzed oxidation of a hypersensitive radical probe.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0446.


trans-1-Phenyl-2-vinylcyclopropane, a hypersensitive radical probe, is oxidized by cytochrome P450cam (CYP101) to a diastereomeric mixture of the corresponding epoxide (81%), (trans-2-phenylcyclopropyl)acetaldehyde (6%), and trans-5-phenyl-2-penten-1,5-diol (13%). trans-5-Phenyl-2-penten-1-ol and (trans-2-phenylcyclopropyl)ethane-1,2-diol are not detectably formed. Authentic standards of all the products have been synthesized and used to establish the identities (or the absence) of the metabolites. Studies with [18O]H2O demonstrate that the oxygens at positions 1 and 5 in the rearranged diol derive from molecular oxygen and water, respectively. Catalytic turnover of the enzyme is required for product formation from the olefin, but incubation of the epoxide metabolite with the enzyme, or with buffer alone, yields both the aldehyde and the rearranged diol products. The absence of trans-5-phenyl-2-penten-1-ol implies that the lifetime of the putative radical intermediate is so short that its existence as a discrete entity is questionable. A cationic intermediate is unlikely but cannot be excluded because the same metabolites are formed in a secondary reaction, even at pH 8.0, from the epoxide. The results provide no evidence for the involvement of radicals or cations in the epoxidation reaction, in agreement with results on the oxidation of olefins in organic solvents by metalloporphyrin catalysts.

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