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J Am Chem Soc. 2001 Jun 13;123(23):5444-52.

Sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy of 2Fe-2S ferredoxin: covalency of the oxidized and reduced 2Fe forms and comparison to model complexes.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Ligand K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) provides a direct experimental probe of ligand-metal bonding. In previous studies, this method has been applied to mononuclear Fe-S and binuclear 2Fe-2S model compounds as well as to rubredoxins and the Rieske protein. These studies are now extended to the oxidized and reduced forms of ferredoxin I from spinach. Because of its high instability, the mixed-valence state was generated electrochemically in the protein matrix, and ligand K-edge absorption spectra were recorded using an XAS spectroelectrochemical cell. The experimental setup is described. The XAS edge data are analyzed to independently determine the covalencies of the iron-sulfide and -thiolate bonds. The results are compared with those obtained previously for the Rieske protein and for 2Fe-2S model compounds. It is found that the sulfide covalency is significantly lower in oxidized FdI compared to that of the oxidized model complex. This decrease is interpreted in terms of H bonding present in the protein, and its contribution to the reduction potential E degrees is estimated. Further, a significant increase in covalency for the Fe(III)-sulfide bond and a decrease of the Fe(II)-sulfide bond are observed in the reduced Fe(III)Fe(II) mixed-valence species compared to those of the Fe(III)Fe(III) homovalent site. This demonstrates that, upon reduction, the sulfide interactions with the ferrous site decrease, allowing greater charge donation to the remaining ferric center. That is the dominant change in electronic structure of the Fe(2)S(2)RS(4) center upon reduction and can contribute to the redox properties of this active site.

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