Characterization of the bridged hyponitrite complex {[Fe(OEP)] 2(μ-N2O2)}: Reactivity of hyponitrite complexes and biological relevance

Timothy C. Berto, Nan Xu, Se Ryeon Lee, Anne J. McNeil, E. Ercan Alp, Jiyong Zhao, George B. Richter-Addo, Nicolai Lehnert

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38 Scopus citations


The detoxification of nitric oxide (NO) by bacterial NO reductase (NorBC) represents a paradigm of how NO can be detoxified anaerobically in cells. In order to elucidate the mechanism of this enzyme, model complexes provide a convenient means to assess potential reaction intermediates. In particular, there have been many proposed mechanisms that invoke the formation of a hyponitrite bridge between the heme b3 and nonheme iron (Fe B) centers within the NorBC active site. However, the reactivity of bridged iron hyponitrite complexes has not been investigated much in the literature. The model complex {[Fe(OEP)]2(μ-N2O 2)} offers a unique opportunity to study the electronic structure and reactivity of such a hyponitrite-bridged complex. Here we report the detailed characterization of {[Fe(OEP)]2(μ-N2O2)} using a combination of IR, nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, and magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy along with SQUID magnetometry. These results show that the ground-state electronic structure of this complex is best described as having two intermediate-spin (S = 3/2) iron centers that are weakly antiferromagnetically coupled across the N2O22- bridge. The analogous complex {[Fe(PPDME)]2(μ-N2O2)} shows overall similar properties. Finally, we report the unexpected reaction of {[Fe(OEP)]2(μ-N2O2)} in the presence and absence of 1-methylimidizole to yield [Fe(OEP)(NO)]. Density functional theory calculations are used to rationalize why {[Fe(OEP)]2(μ-N 2O2)} cannot be formed directly by dimerization of [Fe(OEP)(NO)] and why only the reverse reaction is observed experimentally. These results thus provide insight into the general reactivity of hyponitrite-bridged iron complexes with general relevance for the N-N bond-forming step in NorBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6398-6414
Number of pages17
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 7 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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