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An oxygenase is any enzyme that oxidizes a substrate by transferring the oxygen from molecular oxygen O2 (as in air) to it. The oxygenases form a class of oxidoreductases; their EC number is EC 1.13 or EC 1.14.

Oxygenases were discovered in 1955 simultaneously by two groups, Osamu Hayaishi from Japan[1][2][3] and Howard Mason from the US.[4][5]

There are two types of oxygenases:

  • Monooxygenases, or mixed function oxidase, transfer one oxygen atom to the substrate, and reduce the other oxygen atom to water.
  • Dioxygenases, or oxygen transferases, transfer both atoms of molecular oxygen (O2) onto the substrate.

Among the most important monooxygenases are the cytochrome P450 oxidases, responsible for breaking down numerous chemicals in the body.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hayaishi et al. (1955) Mechanism of the pyrocatechase reaction, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 77 (1955) 5450-5451
  2. Sligar SG, Makris TM, Denisov IG (2005). Thirty years of microbial P450 monooxygenase research: peroxo-heme intermediates--the central bus station in heme oxygenase catalysis. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 338 (1): 346-54.
  3. Hayaishi O (2005). An odyssey with oxygen. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 338 (1): 2-6.
  4. Mason HS, Fowlks WK, and Peterson E. (1955) Oxygen transfer and electron transport by the phenolase complex. J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 77(10) pp 2914 - 2915
  5. Waterman MR (2005). Professor Howard Mason and oxygen activation. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 338 (1): 7-11.



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