Allosteric control of O2 reactivity in Rieske oxygenases

John D. Lipscomb*, Brian M. Hoffman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Oxygen is Nature's perfect reagent. On one hand, it is potentially a very strong oxidant. On the other hand, this potential is caged because the two highest energy valence electrons of the O2 molecule are unpaired. As a result, O2 is relatively unreactive with most other molecules, as almost all of these have paired electrons. Consequently, by modulating the properties of the O2 valence electrons, Nature can generate a reactive species under controlled conditions, catalyzing difficult reactions while still rigorously enforcing specificity. Special sets of enzymes termed oxygenases and oxidases have evolved to perform this task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-685
Number of pages2
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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