In about 2012, Brian Dunford and Emma Raven agreed, in principle, to produce a book on heme peroxidases—a conceptually simple task. A cunning plan was soon devised, and eventually executed. The objective was to produce updates to Dunford's earlier two peroxidase texts1,2 by bringing together a collection of research contributions all focused on various aspects of heme peroxidases and examined, for the most part, through the prism of heme protein structure and mechanism.
Unfortunately, the scientific literature is hardly ever neat and tidy. To a novice or even to an experienced hack, the peroxidase literature can be at the same time frightening and frustrating—if one digs hard enough for long enough then good, bad and ugly will be unearthed. The aim of this book is to help the reader in summarizing this truly vast body of information. We have presented the book thematically. This, it was decided, would be the simplest and most informative way of weaving the complexity of material together. There are sections on the Structure and Reactivity of Heme Peroxidases (Paul Ortiz de Montellano, Tom Poulos, Emma Raven, Giulietta Smulevich, Brian Dunford and Oliver Einsle), on Catalase Peroxidases (Peter Loewen and Christian Obinger), on Models of Peroxidase Structure and Mechanism (Hiroshi Fujii, John Dawson/Stefan Franzen), on Mammalian Peroxidases (Larry Marnett, Tony Kettle/Christine Wintertbourn) and on Industrial and Biomedical Applications (Eduardo Torres/Marcela Ayala, Tim Bugg). A sad omission is a chapter on thyroid peroxidase. The passing of the late Alvin Taurog left a void that we found we could not fill.
Rowan Frame and the Royal Society of Chemistry office in Cambridge have been a pleasure to work with throughout, and our book would never have made it out of the starting blocks without their unwavering support. But no amount of professional assistance from publishers can prepare editors for the many agonies associated with a project of this scale. Our blood, sweat and tears will forever be indelibly ingrained on the pages. We thank everyone else who helped us; especially those unnamed reviewers, some of whom worked for us at very short notice to make sure things were up to snuff.
This book was made possible, in part, by financial assistance from The Daiwa Foundation and the RSC Travel Grants Scheme.
We hope it was all worth it and that you, the reader, find what you were looking for. We know that we have not been able to cover everything. So if the information that you seek is missing, or (worse) incorrect, then please accept our deepest apologies and be greatly reassured that, accordingly to established timescales, it will only be a ten year wait before a new edition appears.