The presence of oxo-bridged dinuclear iron clusters has been established in the respiratory protein, hemerythrin (Hr), and in the DNA-biosynthesis regulatory enzyme, ribonucleotide reductase (Rr). For the iron proteins uteroferrin and purple acid phosphatase (PAP) evidence for μ-oxo-bridged centers is less clear. Resonance Raman (RR) spectra obtained by excitation into an 0(2-) → Fe(III) CT band may show strong symmetric and weak antisymmetric Fe-0-Fe vibrational modes. We have investigated the spectra of a variety of μ-oxo-bridged Fe(III) complexes to establish the dependence of Raman scattering intensities upon structural parameters. Intensities were found to relate to the nature of the ligand trans to the oxo group: nitrogen ligands with unsaturation (e.g., pyrazole and imidazole) lead to strong scattering, whereas saturated ligands provide only poor scattering. The Fe-0 bonds in Hr and Rr are strong scatterers; the former is known from x-ray crystallography to have a histidyl ligand trans to the μ-oxo group. On this basis, a similar ligand structure is likely in the reductase. In contrast, PAP shows no oxo-bridge with UV and near-UV excitation. We propose that a different structural framework is necessary to account for this result. Hydrogen bonding of protein side chains to oxo and sulfido ligands is proposed to explain changes in frequencies for samples dissolved in water vs. D20. Differences in hydrogen-bond strengths between 0...(D) and S...(D) systems are transferred to the observed Fe-0 and Fe-S bond vibrations.
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