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Two biomimetic iron(II) benzoylformate complexes, [LFe(II)(BF)(2)] (2) and [LFe(II)(NO(3))(BF)] (3) (L is 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline and BF is monoanionic benzoylformate), have been synthesized from an iron(II)-dichloro complex [LFe(II)Cl(2)] (1). All the iron(II) complexes have been structurally and spectroscopically characterized. The iron(II) center in 2 is coordinated by a bidentate NN ligand (2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline) and two monoanionic benzoylformates to form a distorted octahedral coordination geometry. One of the benzoylformates binds to the iron in 2 via both carboxylate oxygens but the other one binds in a chelating bidentate fashion via one carboxylate oxygen and the keto oxygen. On the other hand, the iron(II) center in 3 is ligated by one NN ligand, one bidentate nitrate, and one monoanionic chelating benzoylformate. Both iron(II) benzoylformate complexes exhibit the facial NNO donor environment in their solid-state structures. Complexes 2 and 3 are stable in noncoordinating solvents under an inert atmosphere, but react with dioxygen under ambient conditions to undergo oxidative decarboxylation of benzoylformate to benzoate in high yields. Evidence for the formation of an iron(IV)-oxo intermediate upon oxidative decarboxylation of benzoylformate was obtained by interception and labeling experiments. The iron(II) benzoylformate complexes represent the functional models of α-keto acid dependent oxygenases.


Oindrila Das, Sayanti Chatterjee, Tapan Kanti Paine. Functional models of α-keto acid dependent nonheme iron oxygenases: synthesis and reactivity of biomimetic iron(II) benzoylformate complexes supported by a 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline ligand. Journal of biological inorganic chemistry : JBIC : a publication of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry. 2013 Mar;18(3):401-10

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PMID: 23417539

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