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Keywords:

  • [FeFe]-Hydrogenase;
  • Metallo­enzymes;
  • Protonation;
  • Kinetics;
  • Reaction mechanisms

Abstract

The model [FeFe]-hydrogenase subsite Fe2(μ-odt)(CO)4(PMe3)2 (odt = 2-oxapropane-1,3-dithiolate) has been crystallized for the first time, revealing an apical–basal arrangement of the two phosphane groups. Protonation of this species has been studied by a combination of stopped-flow ultraviolet and infrared techniques along with time-resolved NMR spectroscopy. The kinetics of the protonation are similar to those for Fe2(μ-edt)(CO)4(PMe3)2 (edt = ethane-1,2-dithiolate) and are much slower than those for the protonation of Fe2(μ-pdt)(CO)4(PMe3)2 (pdt = propane-1,3-dithiolate). The dithiolate bridge length is therefore not the key determinant of reactivity in these simple model systems.