Halogenated natural products are frequently reported metabolites in marine seaweeds. These compounds span a range from halogenated indoles, terpenes, acetogenins, phenols, etc., to volatile halogenated hydrocarbons that are produced on a very large scale. In many cases these halogenated marine metabolites possess biological activities of pharmacological interest. Given the abundance of halogenated marine natural products found in marine organisms and their potentially important biological activities, the biogenesis of these compounds has intrigued marine natural product chemists for decades. Over a quarter of a century ago, a possible role for haloperoxidase enzymes was first suggested in the biogenesis of certain halogenated marine natural products, although this was long before haloperoxidases were discovered in marine organisms. Since that time, FeHeme- and Vanadium-haloperoxidases (V-HPO) have been discovered in many marine organisms. The structure and catalytic activity of vanadium haloperoxidases is reviewed herein, including the importance of V-HPO-catalyzed bromination and cyclization of terpene substrates.
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