Dioxygen activation by biomimetic iron complexes of α-keto acids and α-hydroxy acids

Tapan Kanti Paine, Lawrence Que

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


A subset of the large family of nonheme iron oxygenases carries out the oxidative decarboxylation of α-ketocarboxylate and α- hydroxycarboxylate substrates in the presence of O2. Iron complexes of α-ketocarboxylates and α-hydroxycarboxylates supported by tridentate and tetradentate ligands have been synthesized to act as functional models for these enzymes, and several have been structurally characterized. From studies of these model complexes and their reactivity toward various probe substrates, insights into the reaction mechanisms have been obtained, where iron(III)-superoxo and iron(IV)-oxo species have been implicated as key oxidants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMolecular Design in Inorganic Biochemistry
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783662435984
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameStructure and Bonding
ISSN (Print)0081-5993
ISSN (Electronic)1616-8550

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are supported respectively by the DST, Govt. of India (Project: SR/S1/IC-51/2010), and the US National Science Foundation (Grant CHE-1058248). We thank Dr. Caleb Allpress for a careful reading of the final manuscript.


  • Biomimetic complexes
  • Dioxygen
  • Iron
  • α-Hydroxy acids
  • α-Keto acids


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