Protonation of [FeFe]-hydrogenase sub-site analogues: revealing mechanism using FTIR stopped-flow techniques

Joseph A. Wright, Lee Webster, Aušra Jablonskytė, Pei Meng Woi, Saad Ibrahim, Christopher J Pickett

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of transient metal hydride(s) at the metallo-sulfur active sites of [FeFe]-hydrogenase is implicated in both hydrogen evolution and uptake reactions. Stopped-flow spectroscopic techniques can provide insight into the reactivity patterns of model {2Fe2S} sub-sites towards protons, and this information contributes to understanding the nature of the biological systems. In this study we have focussed on the influence of the nature of the bridging dithiolate ligand in influencing the kinetics and activation energy parameters for protonation in synthetic sub-sites including Fe2{µ-[S(CH2)nS]}(CO)4(PMe3)2 [n = 2, ethane-1,2-dithiolate (edt) or n = 3, propane-1,3-dithiolate (pdt)], Fe2[(µ-SCH2)2NH](CO)4(PMe3)2 and (NEt4)2{Fe2[(µ-SCH2)2NH](CO)4(CN)2}. Notably we find that (i) the presence of a nitrogen in the dithiolate bridge does not accelerate metal–metal bond protonation, and that (ii) immobilisation of (NEt4)2[Fe2(µ-pdt)(CO)4(CN)2] in a polymer matrix stabilises otherwise short-lifetime protonation products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-371
Number of pages13
JournalFaraday Discussions
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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