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What External Perturbations Influence the Electronic Properties of Catalase Compound I?

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journal contribution
posted on 13.11.2006, 00:00 by Sam P. de Visser
We have performed density functional theory calculations on an active-site model of catalase compound I and studied the responses of the catalytic center to external perturbations. Thus, in the gas phase, compound I has close-lying doublet and quartet spin states with three unpaired electrons:  two residing in π*FeO orbitals and the third on the heme. The addition of a dielectric constant to the model changes the doublet−quartet energy ordering but keeps the same electronic configuration. By contrast, the addition of an external electric field along one of the principal axes of the system can change the doublet−quartet energy splitting by as much as 6 kcal mol-1 in favor of either the quartet or the doublet spin state. This sensitivity is much stronger than the effect obtained for iron heme models with thiolate or imidazole axial ligands. Moreover, an external electric field is able to change the electronic system from a heme-based radical [FeO(Por•+)OTyr-] to a tyrosinate radical [FeO(Por)OTyr]. This again shows that oxo−iron heme systems are chameleonic species that are influenced by external perturbations and change their character and catalytic properties depending on the local environment.