• Biotransformation of polycylic aromatic compounds by fungi and an investigation into the oxidation of alkylbenzenes by Mortierella isabellina NRRL 1757

      Khan, Shaheer Hasan.; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 1985-07-09)
      Incubations of several polycyclic heteroaromatic compounds and two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with a series of common fungi have been performed. The fungi Cunninghamella elegans ATCC 26269, Rhizopus arrhizus ATCC 11145, and Mortierella isabellina NRRL 1757 were studied in this regard. Of the aza heteroaromatics, only dibenzopyrrole gave a ring hydroxylated product following the incubation with C. elegans. From the thio heteroaromatics studied, dibenzothiophene was metabolized by all the three fungi and thioxanthone by C. elegans and M. isabellina giving sulfones and sulphoxides. Thiochromanone was metabolized stereoselectively to the corresponding sulphoxide by C. elegans. Methyl substituted thioxanthones on incubation with C. elegans produced oxidative products, arising from S -oxidation and hydroxylation at the methyl group. Of the cyclic ketones studied, only fluorenone was reduced to hydroxyfluorene and this metabolism is compared with that reported with cytochrome P-450 monooxygenases of hepatic microsomes. A series of para-substituted ethylbenzenes has been transformed stereoselectively to the 1-phenylethanols by incubation with M. isabellina. Comparisons of the enantiomeric purities obtained from products with their respective para substituent of the same steric size but different electronic properties indicate that the stereoselectivity of hydroxylation at benzylic carbon may be susceptible to electron donating or withdrawing factors in some cases, but that observation is not va lid in all the comparisons. The stereochemistry of the reaction is discussed in terms of three possible steps, ethylbenzene ---) 1-phenylethanol ---) acetophenone ---) 1-phenylethanol. This metabolic pathway could account for the inconsistencies observed in the comparisons of optical purities and electronic character of para substituents. Furthermore, formation of 2-phenylethanol (in some cases), l-(p-acetylphenyl)ethanol from p-diethylbenzene, and N-acetylation of p-ethylaniline was observed. n-Propylbenzene was also converted to optically active 1-phenylpropanol. Acetophenone, p-ethylacetophenone, and o(,~,~-trifluoroacetophenone were transformed to 1-phenylethanol, l-(p-ethylphenyl)ethanol, and 1-phenyl-2,2,2-trifluoroethanol, respectively, with high chemical and excellent optical yields. The 13 C NMR spectra of several substrates and metabolic products have been reported and assigned for the first time.
    • A dimensional analysis of the benzylic hydroxylase active site in mortierella isabellina

      Chernishenko, Michael J.; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 1994-07-09)
      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.