A kinetically homogeneous anti-phosphate catalytic antibody preparation was shown to catalyse the hydrolysis of a series of O-aryl N-methyl carbamates containing various substituents in the 4-position of the O-phenyl group. The specific nature of the antibody catalysis was demonstrated by the adherence of these reactions to the Michaelis–Menten equation, the complete inhibition by a hapten analogue, and the failure of the antibody to catalyse the hydrolysis of the 2-nitrophenyl analogue of the 4-nitrophenylcarbamate substrate. Hammett s–r analysis suggests that both the non-catalysed and antibody-catalysed reactions proceed by mechanisms in which development of the aryloxyanion of the leaving group is well advanced in the transition state of the rate-determining step. This is probably the ElcB (elimination–addition) mechanism for the non-catalysed reaction, but for the antibody-catalysed reaction might be either ElcB or BAc2 (addition–elimination), in which the elimination of the aryloxy group from the tetrahedral intermediate has become rate-determining. This result provides evidence of the dominance of recognition of phenolate ion character in the phosphate hapten in the elicitation process, and is discussed in connection with data from the literature that suggest a BAc2 mechanism, with rate-determining formation of the tetrahedral intermediate for the hydrolysis of carbamate substrates catalysed by an antibody elicited by a phosphonamidate hapten in which phenolate anion character is minimized. The present paper contributes to the growing awareness that small differences in the structure of haptens can produce large differences in catalytic characteristics.
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|Published - Feb 2007