Halohydrocarbon Synthesis by Bromoperoxidase

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Dec 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4372, pp. 1094-1096
DOI: 10.1126/science.202.4372.1094


An enzyme extracted from marine red algae, Bonnemaisonia hamifera, is capable of incorporating bromine into a number of organic substrates in the pH range 5 to 8. At pH 7.3, incubation of partially purified preparations of bromoperoxidase with hydrogen peroxide, bromide ion, and 3-oxooctanoic acid leads to the formation of three volatile brominated hydrocarbons: dibromomethane, bromoform, and 1-pentyl bromide. The presence of significant quantities of halometabolites including volatile halohydrocarbons in marine organisms, ocean waters, and the upper atmosphere may result from peroxidase-catalyzed halogenation reactions.