Figure 6 Mechanisms for the catalytic activity of MAO: (a) SET, (b) HAT, and (c) via a polar nucleophile.

(159), on the path to formation of N-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP+) (160), the neurotoxin that causes a parkinsonism-like syndrome. The reaction is not restricted to MPTP alone but will oxidize a number of MPTP analogs in which the N-methyl group184'185 and/or the 4-aryl substituent172'185 has been altered. A structure-activity relationship study185 suggested that the maximum size of MPTP analogs acceptable as substrates by MAO-B is 12 A, as measured along the N-1-C-4 axis.

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