Structural and mechanistic aspects of flavoproteins: Probes of hydrogen tunnelling

Sam Hay, Christopher R. Pudney, Nigel S. Scrutton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    At least half of all enzyme-catalysed reactions are thought to involve a hydrogen transfer. In the last 10 years, it has become apparent that many of these reactions will occur, in part, or in full, by quantum mechanical tunnelling. We are particularly interested in the role of promoting vibrations on H transfer, and the Old Yellow Enzyme family of flavoproteins has proven to be an excellent model system with which to examine such reactions. In this minireview, we describe new and established experimental methods used to study H-tunnelling in these enzymes and we consider some practical issues important to such studies. The application of these methods has provided strong evidence linking protein dynamics and H-tunnelling in biological systems. © 2009 FEBS.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3930-3941
    Number of pages11
    JournalFEBS Journal
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


    • H-tunneling
    • High pressure
    • Kinetic isotope effect
    • Kinetic isotope fractionation
    • Multiple reactive conformations
    • Old Yellow Enzyme
    • Promoting vibration
    • Protein dynamics
    • Quantum mechanics
    • Stopped-flow kinetics


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