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Title: Oxygenase  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Catechol dioxygenase, Methane monooxygenase, Carnitine biosynthesis, Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase, CYP17A1
Collection: Enzymes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


An oxygenase is any enzyme that oxidizes a substrate by transferring the oxygen from molecular oxygen O2 (as in air) to it. The oxygenases form a class of oxidoreductases; their EC number is EC 1.13 or EC 1.14.

Oxygenases were discovered in 1955 simultaneously by two groups, Osamu Hayaishi from Japan[1][2][3] and Howard S. Mason from the US.[4][5] Hayaishi was awarded the 1986 Wolf Prize in Medicine "for the discovery of the oxygenase enzymes and elucidation of their structure and biological importance."[6]

There are two types of oxygenases:

Among the most important monooxygenases are the cytochrome P450 oxidases, responsible for breaking down numerous chemicals in the body.


  1. ^ Hayaishi et al. (1955) Mechanism of the pyrocatechase reaction, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 77 (1955) 5450-5451
  2. ^ Sligar SG, Makris TM, Denisov IG (2005). "Thirty years of microbial P450 monooxygenase research: peroxo-heme intermediates--the central bus station in heme oxygenase catalysis". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 338 (1): 346–54.  
  3. ^ Hayaishi O (2005). "An odyssey with oxygen". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 338 (1): 2–6.  
  4. ^ Mason HS, Fowlks WK, and Peterson E. (1955) Oxygen transfer and electron transport by the phenolase complex. J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 77(10) pp 2914 - 2915
  5. ^ Waterman MR (2005). "Professor Howard Mason and oxygen activation". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 338 (1): 7–11.  
  6. ^ "The Medicine Prize Committee unanimously decided that the Wolf Prize in Medicine for 1986 be awarded to Osamu Hayaishi". Wolf Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ Bugg TDH (2003). "Dioxygenase enzymes: catalytic mechanisms and chemical models". Tetrahedron 59 (36): 7075–7101.  

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