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Eur J Biochem. 1991 Sep 1;200(2):271-84.

Quinoproteins: enzymes containing the quinonoid cofactor pyrroloquinoline quinone, topaquinone or tryptophan-tryptophan quinone.

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Department of Microbiology and Enzymology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.


The presently best known and largest group of quinoproteins consists of enzymes using the cofactor 2,7,9-tricarboxy-1H-pyrrolo[2,3-f]quinoline- 4,5-dione (PQQ), a compound having a pyrrole ring fused to a quinoline ring with an o-quinone group in it. Representatives of this group are found among the bacterial, NAD(P)-independent, periplasmic dehydrogenases. Despite their high midpoint redox potential, the overall behaviour of quinoprotein dehydrogenases is similar to that of their counterparts, those using a flavin cofactor or a nicotinamide coenzyme. Apart from an exceptional Gram-positive one, the sole organisms where the presence of PQQ has really been established are Gram-negative bacteria. Evidence for the occurrence of covalently bound PQQ is lacking since it has now been shown that several enzymes previously considered to contain this prosthetic group do not in fact do so. Another group of quinoproteins, consisting of amine oxidoreductases, has a protein chain containing one of the following quinonoid aromatic amino acids: 6-hydroxy-phenylalanine-3,4-dione (TPQ) or 4-(2'-tryptophyl)-tryptophan-6,7-dione (TTQ). There is no doubt that these o-quinones play a role as cofactor, in the case of TPQ in prokaryotic as well as eukaryotic amine oxidases. It appears, therefore, that a novel class of amino-acid-derived cofactors is emerging, ranging from the free radical form of tyrosine and tryptophan to those containing a dicarbonyl group (like the already known pyryvoyl group and the o-quinones here described.

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