Date of Thesis


Thesis Type

Masters Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Master of Science



First Advisor

Charles Clapp


Lipoxygenases are a class of enzymes which consist of non-heme iron dioxygenases that are produced by fungi, plants, and mammals and catalyze the oxygenation of polyunsaturated fatty acid substrates to unsaturated fatty acid hydroperoxide products. The unsaturated fatty acid hydroperoxide products are stereo- and regiospecific. One such lipoxygenase, soybean lipoxygenase-1 (SBLO-1), catalyzes the conversion of linoleate to 13-hydroperoxy-9(Z),11(E)-octadecadienoate (13-HPOD) and a small amount of 9-hydroperoxy-10(E),12(Z)-octadecadienoate (9-HPOD). Although the structure of SBLO-1 is known and it is the most widely studied lipoxygenase, how it binds to substrate is still poorly understood. Two competing binding hypotheses that have been used to understand and explain the binding are the head first binding model and the tail first binding model. The head first binding model predicts linoleate binds with its polar carboxylate group in the binding pocket and the methyl terminus at the surface of the binding pocket. The tail first binding model predicts that linoleate binds with its methyl terminus end in the binding pocket and the polar carboxylate group at the surface of the binding pocket. Both binding models have been used in the explanation of previous work. In previous work the replacement of phenylalanine with valine has been performed to produce the phe557val mutant SBLO-1. The mutant SBLO-1 was then used in the enzymatic oxygenation of linoleate. With this mutant, the amount of 9-HPOD that is formed increases. This result has been interpreted using the head-first binding model in which the smaller valine residue allows linoleate to bind with the polar carboxylate group of linoleate interacting with arginine-707. The work presented in this thesis confirms the regiochemical results of the previous work and further tests the head-first binding model. If head-first binding occurs, the 9-HPOD is expected to have primarily S configuration. Utilizing chiral-phase HPLC, it was found that the 9-HPOD produced by the phe557val mutant SBLO-1 is primarily S, consistent with head-first binding. The head-first binding model was also tested using linoleyl dimethylamine (LDMA), which has been shown to be a good substrate for SBLO-1 at pH 7.0, where LDMA is thought to be positively charged. This model predicts that less of the 9-peroxide should be produced with this substrate. Through the use of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, it was found that the conversion of LDMA by the phe557val mutant SBLO-1 resulted in the formation of a 46:54 mixture of the 13-peroxide:9-peroxide. The higher amount of 9-peroxide is the opposite of what is expected for the currently proposed model suggesting that the proposed model may not be entirely correct. The results thus far have been consistent with reverse binding but not with the proposed interaction of the polar end of the substrate with arginine-707.