The Kinetics of Relaxin Oxidation by Hydrogen Peroxide

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In this study, hydrogen peroxide was used to study the oxidation of rhRlx under various conditions. Oxidation of rhRlx occurred at both of the two methionines on the B chain, Met B(4) and Met B(25), as expected from the three-dimensional structure of the molecule, which shows that these two residues are located on the surface of the molecule and exposed to solvent. The reaction produced three different oxidized forms of rhRlx containing either Met B(4) sulfoxide, Met B(25) sulfoxide, or both residues oxidized. The corresponding sulfone was not formed under these conditions. The oxidation at the two methionines proceeded independently from each other but Met B(25) was oxidized at a significantly faster rate than Met B(4). The fact that the rate of oxidation at Met B(25) was identical to the rate of oxidation of free methionine and that of two model peptides mimicking the residues around Met B(4) and Met B(25) suggests that the lower reactivity at Met B(4) was due to steric hindrance, and at least in this case, neighboring groups do not influence the oxidation kinetics of methionine residues. The reaction was independent of pH, ionic strength, and buffer concentration in the range studied. The enthalpy of activation for the reaction was approximately 10–14 kcal mol−1, with an entropy of activation of the order of −30 cal K−1 mol−1. These data are consistent with previously published mechanisms for organic sulfide oxidation by alkyl hydroperoxides.

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