Over the last 10 years, studies of enzyme systems have demonstrated that, in many cases, H-transfers occur by a quantum mechanical tunneling mechanism analogous to long-range electron transfer. H-transfer reactions can be described by an extension of Marcus theory and, by substituting hydrogen with deuterium (or even tritium), it is possible to explore this theory in new ways by employing kinetic isotope effects. Because hydrogen has a relatively short deBroglie wavelength, H-transfers are controlled by the width of the reaction barrier. By coupling protein dynamics to the reaction coordinate, enzymes have the potential ability to facilitate more efficient H-tunneling by modulating barrier properties. In this review, we describe recent advances in both experimental and theoretical studies of enzymatic H-transfer, in particular the role of protein dynamics or promoting motions. We then discuss possible consequences with regard to tyrosine oxidation/reduction kinetics in Photosystem II. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
- Hydrogen tunneling
- Kinetic isotope effects
- Protein dynamics
- Proton-coupled electron transfer