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  • Lysine and Arginine Reactivity and Transformation Products during Peptide Chlorination. Environmental science & technology Shi, J. L., Mitch, W. A. 2023


    Chlorine reactions with peptide-bound amino acids form disinfection byproducts and contribute to pathogen inactivation by degrading protein structure and function. Peptide-bound lysine and arginine are two of the seven chlorine-reactive amino acids, but their reactions with chlorine are poorly characterized. Using N-acetylated lysine and arginine as models for peptide-bound amino acids and authentic small peptides, this study demonstrated conversion of the lysine side chain to mono- and dichloramines and the arginine side chain to mono-, di-, and trichloramines in ≤0.5 h. The lysine chloramines formed lysine nitrile and lysine aldehyde at ∼6% yield over ∼1 week. The arginine chloramines formed ornithine nitrile at ∼3% yield over ∼1 week but not the corresponding aldehyde. While researchers hypothesized that the protein aggregation observed during chlorination arises from covalent Schiff base cross-links between lysine aldehyde and lysine on different proteins, no evidence for Schiff base formation was observed. The rapid formation of chloramines and their slow decay indicate that they are more relevant than the aldehydes and nitriles to byproduct formation and pathogen inactivation over timescales relevant to drinking water distribution. Previous research has indicated that lysine chloramines are cytotoxic and genotoxic to human cells. The conversion of lysine and arginine cationic side chains to neutral chloramines should alter protein structure and function and enhance protein aggregation by hydrophobic interactions, contributing to pathogen inactivation.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.2c09556

    View details for PubMedID 36976858