The reduction of p-nitroso-N-dimethylaniline, p-nitroso-N-diethylaniline, p-nitrosophenol and p-nitroso-N-phenylaniline with NADPH in the presence of aldehyde reductases 1 and 2 is described. The reactivity of these nitroso substrates is increased by hydrophobic substituents and those promoting OH- elimination from the molecule of the reduced substrate. NN-Dimethylbenzoquinonedi-iminium cation was proved to be the reaction product formed from p-nitroso-N-dimethylaniline. The kinetics of the reduction of p-nitroso-N-dimethylaniline catalysed with aldehyde reductase 1 are rather complex at pH 7, and the preferred-pathway mechanism is probably involved. The reaction sequence approaches the ordered pattern at pH 8.5. It was shown that NADPH in equilibrium NADP+ recyclization proceeds in the presence of NADP+, p-nitroso-N-dimethylaniline, cyclohexanol and aldehyde reductase 1, the alcohol oxidation being the slowest step in this reaction. However, the rate of cyclohexanol oxidation surpasses that of the dissociation of NADPH from the enzyme.

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