Human aromatase is responsible for the last step of estrogen biosynthesis, for the aromatization of ring A of androstenedione or testosterone. In this work, the mechanism of aromatization was studied using gas phase and hybrid QM/MM calculations. It is shown that human aromatase can efficiently catalyze the aromatization process via a compound I (or compound II)-mediated pathway. The nature of the oxidant is very sensitive to the polarizing environment of the enzyme, as the oxidant has a compound I nature in the gas phase calculations, which is modulated by the enzyme environment to become a mixed compound I and compound II character. The electronic structure of the obtained QM-only and QM/MM stationary points is thoroughly discussed.
- C-C bond fission
- Reaction mechanism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry