Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard
Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred
IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.014
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.162
CiteScore 2018: 3.09
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.482
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.820
Selenium in chemistry and biochemistry in comparison to sulfur
What makes selenoenzymes – seen from a chemist's view – so special that they cannot be substituted by just more analogous or adapted sulfur proteins? This review compiles and compares physicochemical properties of selenium and sulfur, synthetic routes to selenocysteine (Sec) and its peptides, and comparative studies of relevant thiols and selenols and their (mixed) dichalcogens, required to understand the special role of selenium in selenoproteins on the atomic molecular level. The biochemically most relevant differences are the higher polarizability of Se- and the lower pK a of SeH. The latter has a strikingly different pH-dependence than thiols, with selenols being active at much lower pH. Finally, selected typical enzymatic mechanisms which involve selenocysteine are critically discussed, also in view of the authors' own results.
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