Enzymatic Oxidation of —CH3 to —CHO


WE have previously shown1 that peroxidase, together with hydrogen peroxide, will oxidize mesidine (I) to the purple crystalline compound 2 : 6-dimethylbenzoquinone-4-(2′ : 4′ : 6′-trimethyl) anil (V) in 95 per cent yield. When ferrous iron was substituted for the enzyme, the product was mainly ill-defined amorphous material. This enzymatic oxidation involves the elimination of a methyl group, and at the time we postulated the intermediate formation of 2 : 6-dimethylbenzoquinone (II) to explain the reaction. More recently we have shown2 that the peroxidase system will oxidize 4-methoxy-2 : 6-di-methylaniline with the facile elimination of a methoxyl group (detected as methyl alcohol). p-Anisidine is also oxidized3, with the elimination of a methoxyl group, to 2-amino-5-p-anisidinobenzoquinone-bis-anisylimine and tetra-p-methoxy azophenine.

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  1. 1

    Chapman, N. B., and Saunders, B. C., J. Chem. Soc., 496 (1941).

  2. 2

    Saunders, B. C., and Watson, G. H. R., Biochem. J. (in the press).

  3. 3

    Daniels, D. G. H., and Saunders, B. C. (to be published).

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BOOTH, H., SAUNDERS, B. Enzymatic Oxidation of —CH3 to —CHO. Nature 165, 567 (1950) doi:10.1038/165567a0

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