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Nat Chem Biol. 2013 Aug;9(8):488-90. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1275. Epub 2013 Jun 9.

Observation of a stable carbene at the active site of a thiamin enzyme.

Author information

1
Albrecht-von-Haller Institute, Göttingen Center for Molecular Biosciences, Ernst-Caspari-Haus, Georg-August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

Carbenes are highly reactive chemical compounds that are exploited as ligands in organometallic chemistry and are powerful organic catalysts. They were postulated to occur as transient intermediates in enzymes, yet their existence in a biological system could never be demonstrated directly. We present spectroscopic and structural data of a thiamin enzyme in a noncovalent complex with substrate, which implicate accumulation of a stable carbene as a major resonance contributor to deprotonated thiamin.

PMID:
23748673
DOI:
10.1038/nchembio.1275
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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