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    The key step of the O-demethylation of guaiacol by GcoA of the cytochrome P450-reductase pair was studied with DFT using two 10-residue and three 15-residue QM-cluster models. For each model, two reaction pathways were examined, beginning with a different guaiacol orientation. Based on this study, His354, Phe349, Glu249, and Pro250 residues were found to be important for keeping the heme in a planar geometry throughout the reaction. Val241 and Gly245 residues were needed in the QM-cluster models to provide the hydrophobic pocket for an appropriate guaiacol pose in the reaction. The aromatic triad Phe75, Phe169, and Phe395 may be necessary to facilitate guaiacol migrating into the enzyme active site, but it does not qualitatively affect kinetics and thermodynamics of the proposed mechanism. All QM-cluster models created by RINRUS agree very well with previous experimental work. This study provides details for better understanding enzymatic O-demethylation of lignins to form catechol derivatives by GcoA.


    Qianyi Cheng, Nathan J DeYonker. QM-Cluster Model Study of the Guaiacol Hydrogen Atom Transfer and Oxygen Rebound with Cytochrome P450 Enzyme GcoA. The journal of physical chemistry. B. 2021 Apr 08;125(13):3296-3306

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    PMID: 33784103

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