from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A chemical compound or group that is attracted to nuclei and tends to donate or share electrons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a compound or functional group that is attractive to centres of positive charge, and donates electrons, especially donating an electron pair to an electrophile to form a bond


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • These are exemplified below with isopropyl chloride which, in the presence of the nucleophile Nu -, reacts to give a nucleophilic substitution product and/or an elimination product:

    Press Release: The 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

  • The pseuoduridine synthases (Y synthases) are responsible for this reaction, and they fall into five families that share very limited sequence similarity but have the same overall fold and active site architecture, including an essential Asp that likely serves as both a nucleophile and a general base during the reaction.

  • Drosophila enzyme are observed with a nucleophile-Ala variant with the − 1 subsite sugar

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  • Other conserved active centre residues, D125 and D232 are in equivalent positions to the catalytic nucleophile and general acid/base, respectively, of dGMII.

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  • Kuntz DA, Ernber B, Singh H, Moremen KW, et al. (2008) Probing the substrate specificity of Golgi alpha-mannosidase II by use of synthetic oligosaccharides and a catalytic nucleophile mutant.

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  • You're an electrophile and I'm a nucleophile, we're attracted and we can make each other happy.

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  • Our findings indicate that the putative active site nucleophile is not required for FDTS catalysis, and no alternative nucleophilic residues capable of serving this function can be identified.

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  • Here we report an example of thymidylate biosynthesis that occurs without an enzymatic nucleophile.

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  • Mg2+ ion A is bound between the γ-phosphate and the Thr/Ser residues that become phosphorylated and shepherds the nucleophile toward the former.

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  • The transient product of this reaction is an acyl enzyme that, depending on the sortase involved, is relieved by a specific nucleophile (4).

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