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Acyl-CoA dehydrogenases. A mechanistic overview.

Authors: Ghisla, S  Thorpe, C 
Citation: Ghisla S and Thorpe C, Eur J Biochem. 2004 Feb;271(3):494-508.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:14728676

Acyl-CoA dehydrogenases constitute a family of flavoproteins that catalyze the alpha,beta-dehydrogenation of fatty acid acyl-CoA conjugates. While they differ widely in their specificity, they share the same basic chemical mechanism of alpha,beta-dehydrogenation. Medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase is probably the best-studied member of the class and serves as a model for the study of catalytic mechanisms. Based on medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase we discuss the main factors that bring about catalysis, promote specificity and determine the selective transfer of electrons to electron transferring flavoprotein. The mechanism of alpha,beta-dehydrogenation is viewed as a process in which the substrate alphaC-H and betaC-H bonds are ruptured concertedly, the first hydrogen being removed by the active center base Glu376-COO- as an H+, the second being transferred as a hydride to the flavin N(5) position. Hereby the pKa of the substrate alphaC-H is lowered from > 20 to approximately 8 by the effect of specific hydrogen bonds. Concomitantly, the pKa of Glu376-COO- is also raised to 8-9 due to the decrease in polarity brought about by substrate binding. The kinetic sequence of medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase is rather complex and involves several intermediates. A prominent one is the molecular complex of reduced enzyme with the enoyl-CoA product that is characterized by an intense charge transfer absorption and serves as the point of transfer of electrons to the electron transferring flavoprotein. These views are also discussed in the context of the accompanying paper on the three-dimensional properties of acyl-CoA dehydrogenases.

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RGD ID: 2317589
Created: 2010-04-12
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
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