The reaction of H2O2 with thioanisole and p-methoxythioanisole catalysed by lignin peroxidase from Phanerochaete chrysosporium has been studied spectrophotometrically under turnover and single turnover conditions with a stopped-flow apparatus. Pre-formed lignin peroxidase compounds I and II are each able to react with the sulphides to form a sulphide radical cation. The radical cation is then converted into the sulphoxide either by reaction with the medium or by reaction with compound II. This is the first report of a direct reaction between compound II and the substrate radical cation. With thioanisole, significant enantiomeric selectivity and high oxygen incorporation in the sulphoxide are obtained because compound II is preferentially reduced by the enzyme-bound thioanisole radical cation compared with the neutral substrate. By contrast, with p-methoxythioanisole, the data imply formation of an intermediate ternary complex comprising compound II, radical cation and neutral substrate, such that a chain of electron transfer reactions starting from neutral molecule and progressing to oxidized haem via substrate radical cation is facilitated, yielding the native enzyme and two molecules of p-methoxythioanisole radical cation as products. The reactions of compounds I and II with sulphides imply flexing of the apoprotein moiety during catalysis.

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