Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Radicals by reduction

Many enzymes convert their substrates into organic radicals to allow challenging reactions to occur. A microbial enzyme does so by simple electron transfer, casting fresh light on enzyme evolution.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Enzymatic conversion of organic molecules into radicals.


  1. Kim, J., Darley, D. J., Buckel, W. & Pierik, A. J. Nature 452, 239–242 (2008).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Stubbe, J. & van der Donk, W. A. Chem. Rev. 98, 705–762 (1998).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Babior, B. M. Acc. Chem. Res. 8, 376–384 (1975).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ehrenberg, A. & Reichard, P. J. Biol. Chem. 247, 3485–3488 (1972).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Buckel, W. & Keese, R. Angew. Chem. Int. Edn Engl. 34, 1502–1506 (1995).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ragsdale, S. W. Chem. Rev. 103, 2333–2346 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jarrett, J. Radicals by reduction. Nature 452, 163–164 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing