Carbon monoxide induced reductive elimination of disulfide in an N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC)/thiolate dinitrosyl iron complex (DNIC). Academic Article uri icon


  • Dinitrosyliron complexes (DNICs) are organometallic-like compounds of biological significance in that they appear in vivo as products of NO degradation of iron-sulfur clusters; synthetic analogues have potential as NO storage and releasing agents. Their reactivity is expected to depend on ancillary ligands and the redox level of the distinctive Fe(NO)2 unit: paramagnetic {Fe(NO)2}(9), diamagnetic dimerized forms of {Fe(NO)2}(9) and diamagnetic {Fe(NO)2}(10) DNICs (Enemark-Feltham notation). The typical biological ligands cysteine and glutathione themselves are subject to thiolate-disulfide redox processes, which when coupled to DNICs may lead to intricate redox processes involving iron, NO, and RS(-)/RS. Making use of an N-heterocyclic carbene-stabilized DNIC, (NHC)(RS)Fe(NO)2, we have explored the DNIC-promoted RS(-)/RS oxidation in the presence of added CO wherein oxidized {Fe(NO)2}(9) is reduced to {Fe(NO)2}(10) through carbon monoxide (CO)/RS ligand substitution. Kinetic studies indicate a bimolecular process, rate = k [Fe(NO)2](1)[CO](1), and activation parameters derived from kobs dependence on temperature similarly indicate an associative mechanism. This mechanism is further defined by density functional theory computations. Computational results indicate a unique role for the delocalized frontier molecular orbitals of the Fe(NO)2 unit, permitting ligand exchange of RS and CO through an initial side-on approach of CO to the electron-rich N-Fe-N site, ultimately resulting in a 5-coordinate, 19-electron intermediate with elongated Fe-SR bond and with the NO ligands accommodating the excess charge.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Pulukkody, R., Kyran, S. J., Bethel, R. D., Hsieh, C., Hall, M. B., Darensbourg, D. J., & Darensbourg, M. Y.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Pulukkody, Randara||Kyran, Samuel J||Bethel, Ryan D||Hsieh, Chung-Hung||Hall, Michael B||Darensbourg, Donald J||Darensbourg, Marcetta Y

publication date

  • June 2013