Proton Transfer Reactions

  • Daniel Borgis
  • James T. Hynes
Part of the Progress in Mathematics book series (NSSA)


Proton (H+) transfers play a central role in many enzymatic reactions.1 A good illustration is provided by serine protease reactions.2–4 In a recent theoretical study4 of the serine protease tripsin-catalyzed hydrolysis of a specific tripeptide substrate, there are no less than four proton transfer steps, beginning with a serine to histidine H+ transfer in the Michaelis complex (Fig. 1) Another example is furnished in a study5, 6 of the reversible isomerization of dihydroxyacetone (DHAP) to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (GAP) by the enzyme triose phosphate isomerase (TIM). A key step in the DHAP ⇌ GAP reaction is the proton abstraction by a carboxylate group in Glu 165 of a CH proton in DHAP (Fig. 2).


Barrier Height Proton Transfer Proton Transfer Reaction Transition State Theory Kinetic Isotope Effect 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Borgis
    • 1
  • James T. Hynes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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