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What causes iron-sulphur bonds in active sites of one-iron superoxide reductase and two-iron superoxide reductase to differ?

Radu Silaghi-Dumitrescu

Department of Chemistry, Babes-Bolyai University, 11 Arany Janos str., 400028 Cluj-Napoca, Romania



Abstract: The electronic and vibrational properties of [Fe(NHis)4(SCys)] sites responsible for the catalysis of superoxide reduction in two types of superoxide reductase (SOR), one-iron superoxide reductase (1Fe-SOR) and two-iron superoxide reductase (2Fe-SOR), were compared previously (Clay et al., 2003); the differences between these two classes of SOR, examined by UV-VIS and NIR absorption, VTMCD, and vibrational spectroscopy techniques, were interpreted as being indicative of weaker Fe-S bonds in 2Fe-SOR in comparison with 1Fe-SOR. Here, we report on density functional (DFT) and semi-empirical (ZINDO/S-CI) calculations exploring the extent of this difference in bonding between the two classes of SOR. The differences observed experimentally between the electronic spectra of the two SORs are shown to probably arise either from different degrees of torsion between the Fe—ligand bonds or from differences in length of the Fe—carboxylate bond, but are shown to be incompatible with any significant differences in Fe—S bond lengths. The differences observed in the vibrational spectra between the two SORs are shown to correlate with differences in the Fe-S bond length of no more than 0.01 Å, which in turn arise from slight differences in the polarity of the medium surrounding the iron active site in the two proteins.

Keywords: superoxide reductase – non-haem iron – density functional calculations – bioinorganic chemistry – semi-empirical calculations

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-011-0023-4


Chemical Papers 65 (4) 559–565 (2011)

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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