Structural characterization of the fleeting ferric peroxo species in myoglobin: Experiment and theory

Masaki Unno, Hui Chen, Shusuke Kusama, Sason Shaik, Masao Ikeda-Saito

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Crystals of the ferric peroxo (Fe3+-O-O-) species of myoglobin (Mb) have been successfully generated by radiolytic reduction of the oxy Mb crystals at 100 K by irradiation with 1.0 Å synchrotron radiation. X-ray diffraction using 0.6 Å synchrotron radiation has permitted, for the first time, the determination of the crystal structure of the ferric peroxo heme species, an important intermediate in mono-oxygenase heme enzyme catalysis. The Fe-O-O geometry is similar to that found in the ferrous oxy Mb, the crystal structure of which has been determined also by the 0.6 Å radiation. The optical absorption spectra of the crystals affirm that oxy and peroxo species have been maintained during the diffraction measurements, indicating that adverse photoreduction by the incident beam could be mostly avoided by use of the 0.6 Å wavelength synchrotron radiation for the diffraction measurements. The Fe-O-O geometries of the oxy and peroxo Mb found in the crystal structures are supported by the QM/MM calculations, which also show that the existence of a strong hydrogen bonding interaction between NεH of His64 and distal oxygen atom in both the oxy and peroxo Mb. The ground state of the peroxo Mb is found as a doublet state, while that of the oxy Mb is an open-shell singlet state with two unpaired α and β electrons mainly distributed on the Fe and O2 moiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13394-13395
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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