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The role of Mo atoms in nitrogen fixation: Balancing substrate reduction and dihydrogen production

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jon Bell, Adrain John Dunford, Professor Richard Henderson


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The core issue: Cofactors in nitrogenases transform dinitrogen into ammonia, and protons into dihydrogen (see scheme). Studies on cuboidal {Fe4S4}2+ and {MoFe3S4}3+ clusters show that Mo clusters are protonated more slowly, but have a higher affinity for binding substrates, than Mo-free clusters. These reactivities explain why the Mo-based nitrogenase is the most efficient at fixing dinitrogen rather than producing dihydrogen.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bell J, Dunford AJ, Hollis E, Henderson RA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Angewandte Chemie - International Edition

Year: 2003

Volume: 42

Issue: 10

Pages: 1149-1152

ISSN (print): 1433-7851

ISSN (electronic): 1521-3773

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


DOI: 10.1002/anie.200390302

PubMed id: 12640646


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