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Heme–Heme Interactions in Diheme Cytochromes: Effect of Mixed-Axial Ligation on the Electronic Structure and Electrochemical Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.2021, 19:04 by Firoz Shah Tuglak Khan, Deepannita Samanta, Dolly Chandel, Syed Jehanger Shah, Sankar Prasad Rath
Diheme cytochromes, the simplest members in the multiheme family, play substantial biochemical roles in enzymatic catalysis as well as in electron transfer. A series of diiron­(III) porphyrin dimers have been synthesized as active site analogues of diheme cytochromes. The complexes contain six-coordinated iron­(III) having thiophenol and imidazole at the fifth and sixth coordination sites, respectively. The iron centers in the complexes have been found to be in a low-spin state, as confirmed through solid-state Mössbauer and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopic investigations. Mössbauer quadrupole splitting of complexes having mixed ligands is substantially larger than that observed when both axial ligands are the same. Rhombic types of EPR spectra with narrow separation between gx, gy, and gz clearly distinguish heme thiolate coordination compared to bis­(imidazole)-ligated low-spin heme centers. The redox potential in diheme cytochromes has been found to be tuned by interheme interactions along with the nature of axial ligands. The effect of mixed-axial ligation within the diiron­(III) porphyrin dimers is demonstrated by a positive shift in the Fe­(III)/Fe­(II) redox couple upon thiophenolate coordination compared to their bis­(imidazole) analogues. The pKa of the imidazole also decides the extent of the shift for the Fe­(III)/Fe­(II) couple, while the potential of the mixed-ligated diiron­(III) porphyrin dimer is more positive compared to their monomeric analogue. A variation of around 1.1 V for the Fe­(III)/Fe­(II) redox potential in the diiron­(III) porphyrin dimer can be achieved with the combined effect of axial ligation and a metal spin state, while such a large variation in the redox potential, compared to their monomeric analogues, is attributed to the heme–heme interactions observed in dihemes. Moreover, theoretical calculations also support the experimental shifts in the redox potential values.