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Chem Soc Rev. 2011 Apr;40(4):1870-4. doi: 10.1039/c0cs00165a. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Role of metal-oxo complexes in the cleavage of C-H bonds.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.


The functionalization of C-H bonds has yet to achieve widespread use in synthetic chemistry in part because of the lack of synthetic reagents that function in the presence of other functional groups. These problems have been overcome in enzymes, which have metal-oxo active sites that efficiently and selectively cleave C-H bonds. How high-energy metal-oxo transient species can perform such difficult transformations with high fidelity is discussed in this tutorial review. Highlighted are the relationships between redox potentials and metal-oxo basicity on C-H bond activation, as seen in a series of bioinspired manganese-oxo complexes.

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