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, 41, 108-113

Stable Isotope Fractionation Concepts for Characterizing Biotransformation of Organohalides


Stable Isotope Fractionation Concepts for Characterizing Biotransformation of Organohalides

Ivonne Nijenhuis et al. Curr Opin Biotechnol.


Recent development allows multi-element compound-specific isotope analysis of D, 13C, 37Cl and 81Br for characterizing the degradation pathways of halogenated organic substances in the environment. The apparent kinetic isotope effect (AKIE) obtained in (bio)degradation experiments yields information on the chemical mechanism of the bond cleavage. In biochemical reactions, rate limitation such as uptake into cells, substrate transport in cells and binding to enzymes as well as equilibrium isotope effects (EIE) are modifying the observed isotope fractionation associated with the bond cleavage reactions, thus, complicating mechanistic interpretation of isotope effect. One way for improved analysis of bond cleavage reactions by isotope effects reactions is the combination of isotope effects from two or more elements forming the reactive organic moieties where bond change reaction takes place as indicator. A further option is the combination of enantiomeric with isotope fractionation as complementary indicator for enzymatic bond cleavage reaction governing biodegradation. Finally an interesting concept with large potential for elucidation of the biochemical reaction mechanisms of biological dehalogenation may be quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) modelling in combination with experimental multi-element isotope analysis, thus merging quantum chemical theory with experimental observation.

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