Formation and Cleavage of C-C Bonds by Enzymatic Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

Chem Rev. 2018 Jul 25;118(14):6573-6655. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.8b00031. Epub 2018 Jun 22.


Many oxidation-reduction (redox) enzymes, particularly oxygenases, have roles in reactions that make and break C-C bonds. The list includes cytochrome P450 and other heme-based monooxygenases, heme-based dioxygenases, nonheme iron mono- and dioxygenases, flavoproteins, radical S-adenosylmethionine enzymes, copper enzymes, and peroxidases. Reactions involve steroids, intermediary metabolism, secondary natural products, drugs, and industrial and agricultural chemicals. Many C-C bonds are formed via either (i) coupling of diradicals or (ii) generation of unstable products that rearrange. C-C cleavage reactions involve several themes: (i) rearrangement of unstable oxidized products produced by the enzymes, (ii) oxidation and collapse of radicals or cations via rearrangement, (iii) oxygenation to yield products that are readily hydrolyzed by other enzymes, and (iv) activation of O2 in systems in which the binding of a substrate facilitates O2 activation. Many of the enzymes involve metals, but of these, iron is clearly predominant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbon / chemistry*
  • Carbon / metabolism
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / chemistry
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Flavoproteins / chemistry
  • Flavoproteins / metabolism
  • Heme / chemistry
  • Heme / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygenases / chemistry
  • Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Peroxidases / chemistry
  • Peroxidases / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Vitamin B 12 / chemistry
  • Vitamin B 12 / metabolism


  • Flavoproteins
  • Heme
  • Carbon
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Peroxidases
  • Oxygenases
  • Vitamin B 12