1. The influence of halogen substituents on the 1,2-dioxygenation of catechols was investigated. The results obtained with the two isoenzymes pyrocatechase I and pyrocatechase II from the haloarene-utilizing Pseudomonas sp. B 13 and the pyrocatechase from benzoate-induced cells of Alcaligenes eutrophus B.9 were compared. 2. Substituents on catechol were found to interfere with O2 binding by the two isoenzymes from Pseudomonas sp. B 13, whereas the Km value for catechol kept constant at different O2 concentrations. 3. Electron-attracting substituents decreased the Km values for catechols. 4. Results from binding studies with substituted catechols demonstrated narrow stereospecificities of pyrocatechase I from pseudomonas sp. B 13 and the pyrocatechase from alcaligenes eutrophus B.9. In contrast, a low steric hindrance by substituents in the binding of catechols with pyrocatechase II was observed. 5. Low pK′1 values of substituted catechols resulted in low Michaelis constants. 6. Electron-attracting substituents such as halogen decreased the reaction rates of catechol 1,2-dioxygenation. The correlation of the Vmax. values observed with pyrocatechase II from Pseudomonas sp. B 13 with the substituent constant sigma+ (Okamoto–Brown equation) was distinctly greater than with Hammett's sigma values. The corresponding logVmax. against sigma+ correlation for pyrocatechase I was considerably disturbed by steric influences of the substituents.

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