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J Inorg Biochem. 2006 Apr;100(4):434-47. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

High-valent iron in chemical and biological oxidations.

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Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


Various aspects of the reactivity of iron(IV) in chemical and biological systems are reviewed. Accumulated evidence shows that the ferryl species [Fe(IV)O](2+) can be formed under a variety of conditions including those related to the ferrous ion-hydrogen peroxide system known as Fenton's reagent. Early evidence that such a species could hydroxylate typical aliphatic C-H bonds included regioselectivities and stereospecificities for cyclohexanol hydroxylation that could not be accounted for by a freely diffusing hydroxyl radical. Iron(IV) porphyrin complexes are also found in the catalytic cycles of cytochrome P450 and chloroperoxidase. Model oxo-iron(IV) porphyrin complexes have shown reactivity similar to the proposed enzymatic intermediates. Mechanistic studies using mechanistically diagnostic substrates have implicated a radical rebound scenario for aliphatic hydroxylation by cytochrome P450. Likewise, several non-heme diiron hydroxylases, AlkB (Omega-hydroxylase), sMMO (soluble methane monooxygenase), XylM (xylene monooxygenase) and T4moH (toluene monooxygenase) all show clear indications of radical rearranged products indicating that the oxygen rebound pathway is a ubiquitous mechanism for hydrocarbon oxygenation by both heme and non-heme iron enzymes.

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