Contains the lawsuits of a symposium held on the Ciba origin, March 1988. individuals current a global, interdisciplinary method of the biology and organic chemistry of cyanide and comparable compounds. Addressed are the microbial metabolism of HCN and natural nitrile compounds, cyanogenesis in better crops, qualitative and quantitative equipment of study of cyanogenic glycosides, and detoxing of hydrogen cyanide through animals.
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Additional resources for Ciba Foundation Symposium 140 - Cyanide Compounds in Biology
Knowles: We’ve only looked at highly hazardous, high-volume industrial effluents. It would be interesting to look at nitrile herbicides in the environment. This might cause stimulation of the growth of microorganisms with induction of novel enzyme activities. The nitrilase enzymes or the nitrile hydratase enzymes are group specific and one can envisage a whole new generation of herbicide-like molecules because we can use dehalogenases to convert halogen to hydroxyl groups, we can use lipases or esterases to remove the ester groups and use the enzymes we have discussed to convert nitriles into either the amide or acid.
Strain 14) isolated from soil was found to produce a nitrile-hydrating enzyme that is extremely tolerant to high concentrations of its nitrile substrate. The enzyme is cell-bound and appears to be specific for cyanoacetate which is hydrolysed to malonic acid. Cyanoacetamide is not detectable during hydrolysis of cyanoacetate in reaction mixtures containing either intact cells or cell-free extracts. Although the studies have not yet been completed, the enzyme is most probably an aliphatic nitrilase.
Electron spin resonance (ESR) studies showed these nitrile hydratases to be the first known non-haem iron enzymes (Sugiura et a1 1987). It was demonstrated that the ferric ion binds to the enzyme forming a rhombic structure-four amino acid nitrogens are coordinated at equatorial sites. An enzymic thiol group binds to the iron from the upper axial site and water is bound from the lower site (Fig. 1). Concentrated solutions of the enzymes are greenish yellow in colour and their absorption spectrum has a shoulder peak around 340 nm.
Ciba Foundation Symposium 140 - Cyanide Compounds in Biology