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Effect of Zn⋅⋅⋅Zn Separation on the Hydrolytic Activity of Model Dizinc Phosphodiesterases



From the study of highly preorganized model systems, experimental support has been obtained for a possible functional role of the Zn–(H)O⋅⋅⋅HO(H)–Zn motif in oligozinc hydrolases. The mechanistic relevance of such an array, which may be described as a hydrated form of a pseudo-terminal Zn-bound hydroxide, has recently been supported by DFT calculations on various metallohydrolase active sites. In the present targeted approach, the Zn⋅⋅⋅Zn distance in two related dizinc complexes has been controlled through the use of multifunctional pyrazolate-based ligand scaffolds, giving either a tightly bridged Zn–O(H)–Zn or a more loosely bridged Zn–(H)O⋅⋅⋅HO(H)–Zn species in the solid state. Zn-bound water has been found to exhibit comparable acidity irrespective of whether the resulting hydroxide is supported by strong hydrogen-bonding in the O2H3 moiety or is in a bridging position between two zinc ions, indicating that water does not necessarily have to adopt a bridging position in order for its pKa to be sufficiently lowered so as to provide a Zn-bound hydroxide at physiological pH. Comparative reactivity studies on the cleavage of bis(4-nitrophenyl)phosphate (BNPP) mediated by the two dizinc complexes have revealed that the system with the larger Zn⋅⋅⋅Zn separation is hydrolytically more potent, both in the hydrolysis and the transesterification of BNPP. The extent of active site inhibition by the reaction products has also been found to be governed by the Zn⋅⋅⋅Zn distance, since phosphate diester coordination in a bridging mode within the clamp of two zinc ions is only favored for Zn⋅⋅⋅Zn distances well above 4 Å. Different binding affinities are rationalized in terms of the structural characteristics of the product-inhibited complexes for the two different ligand scaffolds, with dimethyl phosphate found as a bridging ligand within the bimetallic pocket.