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Heme Enzymes

Proteins, Peptides and Amino Acids

  1. Thomas L. Poulos

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400073

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Poulos, T. L. 2006. Heme Enzymes. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Enzymes that contain the heme prosthetic group include a large number of proteins found in nearly all biological systems. As used in this article, heme enzymes are defined as enzymes that catalyze the oxidative chemical transformation of a substrate. A good deal is now known about structure–function relationships in heme enzymes, primarily because the heme prosthetic group exhibits easily detectable spectroscopic properties that enable various intermediates to be studied by a variety of spectral methods. In addition, there now are a large number of known crystal structures. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of heme enzymes is how the same heme group can adopt such different functions, which clearly relates to how the protein controls the chemistry of the heme group. As a result, heme enzymes have provided particularly rich systems for detailed structure-function studies.


  • Catalases;
  • Cytochrome c Oxidase or CCO;
  • Cytochrome P450;
  • Heme;
  • Heme Oxygenase;
  • Heterolysis and Homolysis;
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase or NOS;
  • Peroxidases