The intermolecular primary deuterium isotope effects on the individual C-H bond cleavage steps involved in linoleic acid biosynthesis were determined using a suitably transformed strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing a functional oleate Δ12 desaturase from Arabidopsis thaliana. Mass spectral analysis of the methyl 7-thialinoleate fraction obtained from competition experiments involving methyl 7-thiastearate, methyl [12,12-2H2]-7-thiastearate and methyl [13,13-2H2]-7-thiastearate showed that cleavage of the C12-H bond is very sensitive to isotopic substitution (k(H)/k(D) = 7.3 ± 0.4) while a negligible isotope effect (k(H)/k(D) = 1.05 ± 0.04) was observed for the C13-H bond breaking step. This result strongly suggests that the site of initial oxidation for Δ12 desaturation is at C-12. The possible relationship between castor oleate 12-hydroxylase and microsomal Δ12 oleate desaturases is discussed in the context of a common mechanistic paradigm. Our methodology may be also be useful in deciphering the cryptoregiochemistry of other desaturase systems.
American Chemical Society Journal
Department of Chemistry

Buist, P.H, & Behrouzian, B. (Behnaz). (1998). Deciphering the cryptoregiochemistry of oleate Δ12 desaturase: A kinetic isotope effect study. American Chemical Society Journal, 120(5), 871–876. doi:10.1021/ja971362i