A Superoxo-Ferrous State in a Reduced Oxy-Ferrous Hemoprotein and Model Compounds

Roman Davydov, James D. Satterlee, Hiroshi Fujii, Alexandra Sauer-Masarwa, Daryle H. Busch, Brian M. Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Cryoreduction of the [FeO2]6 (n = 6 is the number of electrons in 3d orbitals on Fe and π* orbitals on O2) dioxygen-bound ferroheme through γ irradiation at 77 K generates an [FeO2]7 reduced oxy-heme. Numerous investigations have examined [FeO2]7 centers that have been characterized as peroxo-ferric centers, denoted [FeO2]per7, in which a ferriheme binds a dianionic peroxo-ligand. The generation of such an intermediate can be understood heuristically if the [FeO2] 6 parent is viewed as a superoxo-ferric center and the injected electron localizes on the O-O moiety. We here report EPR/ENDOR experiments which show quite different properties for the [FeO2]7 centers produced by cryoreduction of monomeric oxy-hemoglobin (oxy-GMH3) from Glycera dibranchiata, which is unlike mammalian "globins" in having a leucine in place of the distal histidine; of frozen aprotic solutions of oxy-ferrous octaethyl porphyrin; and of the oxy-ferrous complex of the heme model, cyclidene. These [FeO2]7 centers are characterized as "superoxo-ferrous" centers ([FeO2]sup 7), with nearly unit spin density localized on a superoxo moiety which is end-on coordinated to a low-spin ferrous ion. This assignment is based on their g tensors and 17O hyperfine couplings, which are characteristic of the superoxide ion coordinated to a diamagnetic metal ion, and on the absence of detectable ENDOR signals either from the in-plane 14N ligands or from an exchangeable H-bond proton. Such a center would arise if the electron that adds to the [FeO2]6 superoxo-ferric parent Iocalizes localizes on the Fe ion, to make a superoxo-ferrous moiety. Upon annealing to T > 150 K, the [FeO 2]sup7 species converts to peroxo/hydroperoxo-ferric ([FeO2H]7) intermediates. These experiments suggest that the primary reduction product is [FeO2] sup7 and that the internal redox transition to [FeO 2]per7/[FeO2H]7 states is driven at least in part by H-bonding/proton donation by the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16340-16346
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 31 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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