An Fe2IVO2 Diamond Core Structure for the Key Intermediate Q of Methane Monooxygenase

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Science  24 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5299, pp. 515-518
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5299.515

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A new paradigm for oxygen activation is required for enzymes such as methane monooxygenase (MMO), for which catalysis depends on a nonheme diiron center instead of the more familiar Fe-porphyrin cofactor. On the basis of precedents from synthetic diiron complexes, a high-valent Fe2(μ-O)2 diamond core has been proposed as the key oxidizing species for MMO and other nonheme diiron enzymes such as ribonucleotide reductase and fatty acid desaturase. The presence of a single short Fe-O bond (1.77 angstroms) per Fe atom and an Fe-Fe distance of 2.46 angstroms in MMO reaction intermediate Q, obtained from extended x-ray absorption fine structure and Mössbauer analysis, provides spectroscopic evidence that the diiron center in Q has an Fe2IVO2 diamond core.

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