Mechanistic Studies on the Formation and Reactivity of Dioxygen Adducts of Diiron Complexes Supported by Sterically Hindered Carboxylates

Sergey V. Kryatov, Ferman A. Chavez, Anne M. Reynolds, Elena V. Rybak-Akimova, Lawrence Que, William B. Tolman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Dioxygen activation by enzymes such as methane monooxygenase, ribonucleotide reductase, and fatty acid desaturases occurs at a nonheme diiron active site supported by two histidines and four carboxylates, typically involving a (peroxo)diiron(III,III) intermediate in an early step of the catalytic cycle. Biomimetic tetracarboxylatodiiron-(II,II) complexes with the familiar "paddlewheel" topology comprising sterically bulky o-dixylylbenzoate ligands with pyridine, 1-methylimidazole, or THF at apical sites readily react with O2 to afford thermally labile peroxo intermediates that can be trapped and characterized spectroscopically at low temperatures (193 K). Cryogenic stopped-flow kinetic analysis of O2 adduct formation carried out for the three complexes reveals that dioxygen binds to the diiron(II,II) center with concentration dependences and activation parameters indicative of a direct associative pathway. The pyridine and 1-methylimidazole intermediates decay by self-decomposition. However, the THF intermediate decays much faster by oxygen transfer to added PPh3, the kinetics of which has been studied with double mixing experiments in a cryogenic stopped-flow apparatus. The results show that the decay of the THF intermediate is kinetically controlled by the dissociation of a THF ligand, a conclusion supported by the observation of saturation kinetic behavior with respect to PPh3, inhibition by added THF, and invariant saturation rate constants for the oxidation of various phosphines. It is proposed that the proximity of the reducing substrate to the peroxide ligand on the diiron coordination sphere facilitates the oxygen-atom transfer. This unique investigation of the reaction of an O2 adduct of a biomimetic tetracarboxylatodiiron(II,II) complex provides a synthetic precedent for understanding the electrophilic reactivity of like adducts in the active sties of nonheme diiron enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2141-2150
Number of pages10
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 22 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanistic Studies on the Formation and Reactivity of Dioxygen Adducts of Diiron Complexes Supported by Sterically Hindered Carboxylates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this