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Experimental and DFT Investigations Reveal the Influence of the Outer Coordination Sphere on the Vibrational Spectra of Nickel-Substituted Rubredoxin, a Model Hydrogenase Enzyme

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journal contribution
posted on 21.03.2017, 19:21 by Jeffrey W. Slater, Sean C. Marguet, Sabrina L. Cirino, Pearson T. Maugeri, Hannah S. Shafaat
Nickel-substituted rubredoxin (NiRd) is a functional enzyme mimic of hydrogenase, highly active for electrocatalytic and solution-phase hydrogen generation. Spectroscopic methods can provide valuable insight into the catalytic mechanism, provided the appropriate technique is used. In this study, we have employed multiwavelength resonance Raman spectroscopy coupled with DFT calculations on an extended active-site model of NiRd to probe the electronic and geometric structures of the resting state of this system. Excellent agreement between experiment and theory is observed, allowing normal mode assignments to be made on the basis of frequency and intensity analyses. Both metal–ligand and ligand-centered vibrational modes are enhanced in the resonance Raman spectra. The latter provide information about the hydrogen bonding network and structural distortions due to perturbations in the secondary coordination sphere. To reproduce the resonance enhancement patterns seen for high-frequency vibrational modes, the secondary coordination sphere must be included in the computational model. The structure and reduction potential of the NiIIIRd state have also been investigated both experimentally and computationally. This work begins to establish a foundation for computational resonance Raman spectroscopy to serve in a predictive fashion for investigating catalytic intermediates of NiRd.