Linkage isomerization in heme-NOx compounds: Understanding NO, nitrite, and hyponitrite interactions with iron porphyrins

Nan Xu, Jun Yi, George B. Richter-Addo

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63 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) and its derivatives such as nitrite and hyponitrite are biologically important species of relevance to human health. Much of their physiological relevance stems from their interactions with the iron centers in heme proteins. The chemical reactivities displayed by the heme-NOx species (NOx = NO, nitrite, hyponitrite) are a function of the binding modes of the NOx ligands. Hence, an understanding of the types of binding modes extant in heme- NOx compounds is important If we are to unravel the inherent chemical properties of these NOx metabolites. In this Forum Article, the experimentally characterized linkage isomers of heme-NOx models and proteins are presented and reviewed. Nitrosyl linkage isomers of synthetic iron and ruthenium porphyrins have been generated by photolysis at low temperatures and characterized by spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations. Nitrite linkage isomers in synthetic metalloporphyrin derivatives have been generated from photolysis experiments and in low-temperature matrices. In the case of nitrite adducts of heme proteins, both N and O binding have been determined crystallographically, and the role of the distal H-bonding residue In myoglobin In directing the O-bindlng mode of nitrite has been explored using mutagenesis. To date, only one synthetic metalloporphyrin complex containing a hyponitrite ligand (displaying an O-bindlng mode) has been characterized by crystallography. This is contrasted with other hyponitrite binding modes experimentally determined for coordination compounds and computationally for NO reductase enzymes. Although linkage isomerism in heme-NOx derivatives is still in its Infancy, opportunities now exist for a detailed exploration of the existence and stabilities of the metastable states in both heme models and heme proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6253-6266
Number of pages14
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 19 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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