Recent Research Developments

Index of Recent Research News
February 18th, 2004
    Synthetic Compounds that Hydroxylate Hydrocarbons

    Enzymes that contain iron in a non-heme environment can catalyze metabolically important transformations, including the oxidation of C-H bonds. The reactive intermediate responsible for the oxidation is often proposed to be an FeIV=O species; however to date only one example has been observed in a non-heme enzyme (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 13008-13009).

    In a recently published paper (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 472-473), postdoctoral associate József Kaizer and graduate student Eric Klinker in the group of Professor Que and their collaborators at Carnegie Mellon University and Ewha Womans University (Seoul, Korea) have reported the generation and reactivity of two new synthetic FeIV=O species supported by neutral, pentadentate ligands. These high-valent species can be generated at room temperature and have a reasonable lifetime. The stability of the compounds allows reactivity experiments to be performed at room temperature, where hydroxylation of the C-H bonds in cyclohexane is observed. A mechanism of initial hydrogen atomabstraction is supported by an unusually large deuterium KIE, a phenomenon also observed in the one enzyme example.

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