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The E. coli Siderophores Enterobactin and Salmochelin Form Six-Coordinate Silicon Complexes at Physiological pH


  • We thank the DFG (SU239/10-1 and HA485/3-3,4) and the NSF (CHE-0645381 and CNS-0521433) for financial support. We also thank the Research Foundation for a Cottrell Award (M.H.B.) and the Sloan Foundation for a Sloan Fellowship (M.H.B.). We thank Prof. Dr. Matthias Driess, TU Berlin, for helpful discussions and Graeme Nicholson for recording the ESI-FT-ICR mass spectra.


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Not limited to iron: The high affinity of the bacterial iron siderophores enterobactin and salmochelin for Fe3+ ions, which are bound through chelating catecholate groups, is well known. These two siderophores have now been found to also bind silicon ions with high affinity, giving the first examples of silicon complexes of natural products stable under physiological conditions.

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