RPE is an iron enzyme with a mononuclear metal atom that binds the carbonyl and carboxylate moieties of ribulose-5-phosphate, facilitating epimerization by stabilizing the deprotonated anionic intermediate. It employs a ferrous iron atom as a solvent-exposed cofactor, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) rapidly oxidizes this metal in a Fenton reaction. Thus, RPE is rapidly damaged by H2O2, similar to Fe–S dehydratases (1).
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