Effect of the axial ligand on the reactivity of the oxoiron(IV) porphyrin π-cation radical complex: higher stabilization of the product state relative to the reactant state.

Research paper by Akihiro A Takahashi, Daisuke D Yamaki, Kenichiro K Ikemura, Takuya T Kurahashi, Takashi T Ogura, Masahiko M Hada, Hiroshi H Fujii

Indexed on: 22 Jun '12Published on: 22 Jun '12Published in: Inorganic Chemistry


The proximal heme axial ligand plays an important role in tuning the reactivity of oxoiron(IV) porphyrin π-cation radical species (compound I) in enzymatic and catalytic oxygenation reactions. To reveal the essence of the axial ligand effect on the reactivity, we investigated it from a thermodynamic viewpoint. Compound I model complexes, (TMP(+•))Fe(IV)O(L) (where TMP is 5,10,15,20-tetramesitylporphyrin and TMP(+•) is its π-cation radical), can be provided with altered reactivity by changing the identity of the axial ligand, but the reactivity is not correlated with spectroscopic data (ν(Fe═O), redox potential, and so on) of (TMP(+•))Fe(IV)O(L). Surprisingly, a clear correlation was found between the reactivity of (TMP(+•))Fe(IV)O(L) and the Fe(II)/Fe(III) redox potential of (TMP)Fe(III)L, the final reaction product. This suggests that the thermodynamic stability of (TMP)Fe(III)L is involved in the mechanism of the axial ligand effect. Axial ligand-exchange experiments and theoretical calculations demonstrate a linear free-energy relationship, in which the axial ligand modulates the reaction free energy by changing the thermodynamic stability of (TMP)Fe(III)(L) to a greater extent than (TMP(+•))Fe(IV)O(L). The linear free energy relationship could be found for a wide range of anionic axial ligands and for various types of reactions, such as epoxidation, demethylation, and hydrogen abstraction reactions. The essence of the axial ligand effect is neither the electron donor ability of the axial ligand nor the electron affinity of compound I, but the binding ability of the axial ligand (the stabilization by the axial ligand). An axial ligand that binds more strongly makes (TMP)Fe(III)(L) more stable and (TMP(+•))Fe(IV)O(L) more reactive. All results indicate that the axial ligand controls the reactivity of compound I (the stability of the transition state) by the stability of the ground state of the final reaction product and not by compound I itself.