A dimensional analysis of the benzylic hydroxylase active site in mortierella isabellina
Chernishenko, Michael J.
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The spatial limits of the active site in the benzylic hydroxylase enzyme of the fungus Mortierella isabellina were investigated. Several molecular probes were used in incubation experiments to determine the acceptability of each compound by this enzyme. The yields of benzylic alcohols provided information on the acceptability of the particular compound into the active site, and the enantiomeric excess values provided information on the "fit" of acceptable substrates. Measurements of the molecular models were made using Cambridge Scientific Computing Inc. CSC Chem 3D Plus modeling program. i The dimensional limits of the aromatic binding pocket of the benzylic hydroxylase were tested using suitably substituted ethyl benzenes. Both the depth (para substituted substrates) and width (ortho and meta substituted substrates) of this region were investigated, with results demonstrating absolute spatial limits in both directions in the plane of the aromatic ring of 7.3 Angstroms for the depth and 7.1 Angstroms for the width. A minimum requirement for the height of this region has also been established at 6.2 Angstroms. The region containing the active oxygen species was also investigated, using a series of alkylphenylmethanes and fused ring systems in indan, 1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene and benzocycloheptene substrates. A maximum distance of 6.9 Angstroms (including the 1.5 Angstroms from the phenyl substituent to the active center of the heme prosthetic group of the enzyme) has been established extending directly in ii front of the aromatic binding pocket. The other dimensions in this region of the benzylic hydroxylase active site will require further investigation to establish maximum allowable values. An explanation of the stereochemical distributions in the obtained products has also been put forth that correlates well with the experimental observations.