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Reaction of azide radicals with amino acids and proteins.


The azide radical N3 reacts selectively with amino acids, in neutral solution preferentially with tryptophan (k (N3 + TrpH) = 4.1 X 10(9) dm3 mol(-1s-1) and in alkaline solution also with cysteine and tyrosine (k(N3 + CyS-) = 2.7 X 10(9) dm3 mol-1s-1) and k(N3 + TyrO-) equals 03.6 X 10(9) dm3 mol-1s-1). Oxidation of the enzyme yADH by N3 involves primary attacks, mainly at tryptophan residues, and subsequent slow secondary reactions. N3-induced inactivation of yADH is likely to occur upon oxidation of tryptophan residues in the substrate binding pocket (58-TrpH and 93-TrpH) since the substrate ethanol although unreactive with N3, protects yADH and since elADH, which does not contain tryptophan in the substrate pocket, is comparatively resistant against N3-attack. N3 exhibits low reactivity with nucleic acid derivatives and it is inert towards aliphatic compounds such as methanol and sodium dodecylsulphate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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