Sep 25, 1976

Facile alkylation of methionine by benzyl bromide and demonstration of fumarase inactivation accompanied by alkylation of a methionine residue

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
G A RogersP D Boyer


Benzyl bromide is a selective alkylator of sulfur nucleophiles including methionine and cysteine. Only the mercaptide ion is a more efficient nucleophile than is the sulfur ether of methionine. Alkylation rates relative to methionine are 200: less than or equal to 0.03: less than or equal to 0.03: less than or equal to 0.02 for GS-, histidine, tryptophan, and GSH, respectively. Alkylation of methionine by benzyl bromide is more than 50 times faster than alkylation by iodoacetate. Fumarase is readily inactivated by exposure to benzyl bromide at pH 6.6 to 6.8 accompanied by alkylation of close to 1 methionine residue/subunit. Fumarase fully inactivated by exposure to benzyl bromide shows no detected alkylation of amino acid residues other than methionine. The rate of inactivation of fumarase by benzyl bromide is decreased about 4-fold by the presence of excess substrates. Denaturation of fumarase in 6 M urea at pH 6.5 exposes additional methionine as well as cysteine residues to alkylation.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Benzyl bromide
Etherum, ether, Homeopathic preparation
Plasma Protein Binding Capacity
Urea Measurement

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