SciCombinator

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Journal: Coordination chemistry reviews

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Photosynthetic reaction centers (PRCs) employ multiple-step tunneling (hopping) to separate electrons and holes that ultimately drive the chemistry required for metabolism. We recently developed hopping maps that can be used to interpret the rates and energetics of electron/hole hopping in three-site (donor-intermediate-acceptor) tunneling reactions, including those in PRCs. Here we analyze several key ET reactions in PRCs, including forward ET in the L-branch, and hopping that could involve thermodynamically uphill intermediates in the M-branch, which is ET-inactive in vivo. We also explore charge recombination reactions, which could involve hopping. Our hopping maps support the view that electron flow in PRCs involves strong electronic coupling between cofactors and reorganization energies that are among the lowest in biology (≤ 0.4 eV).

Concepts: Electron, Electric charge, Metabolism, Quantum mechanics, Chemical reaction, Fundamental physics concepts, Proton, Electronic band structure

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Aerobes and anaerobes alike express a plethora of essential iron enzymes; in the resting state, the iron atom(s) in these proteins are in the ferrous state. For aerobes, ferric iron is the predominant environmental valence form which, given ferric iron’s aqueous chemistry, occurs as ‘rust’, insoluble, bio-inert polymeric ferric oxide that results from the hydrolysis of [Fe(H(2)O)(6)](3+). Mobilizing this iron requires bio-ferrireduction which in turn requires managing the rapid autoxidation of the resulting Fe(II) which occurs at pH > 6. This review examines the aqueous redox chemistry of iron and the mechanisms evolved in aerobes to suppress the ‘rusting out’ of Fe(III) and the ROS-generating autoxidation of Fe(II) so as to make this metal ion available as the most ubiquitous prosthetic group in metallobiology.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Enzyme, Iron, Electrochemistry, Cellular respiration, Rust, Ferric