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American Chemical Society
Bridging diphosphine ligands were used to facilitate the assembly of copper clusters with single sulfur atom bridges that model the structure of the CuZ* active site of nitrous oxide reductase. Using bis(diphenylphosphino)amine (dppa), a [CuI4(μ4-S)] cluster with N–H hydrogen bond donors in the secondary coordination sphere was assembled. Solvent and anion guests were found docking to the N–H sites in the solid state and in the solution phase, highlighting a kinetically viable pathway for substrate introduction to the inorganic core. Using bis(dicyclohexylphosphino)methane (dcpm), a [CuI3(μ3-S)] cluster was assembled preferentially. Both complexes exhibited reversible oxidation events in their cyclic voltammograms, making them functionally relevant to the CuZ* active site that is capable of catalyzing a multielectron redox transformation, unlike the previously known [CuI4(μ4-S)] complex from Yam and co-workers supported by bis(diphenylphosphino)methane (dppm). The dppa-supported [CuI4(μ4-S)] cluster reacted with N3–, a linear triatomic substrate isoelectronic to N2O, in preference to NO2–, a bent triatomic. This [CuI4(μ4-S)] cluster also bound I–, a known inhibitor of CuZ*. Consistent with previous observations for nitrous oxide reductase, the tetracopper model complex bound the I– inhibitor much more strongly and rapidly than the substrate isoelectronic to N2O, producing unreactive μ3-iodide clusters including a [Cu3(μ3-S)(μ3-I)] complex related to the [Cu4(μ4-S)(μ2-I)] form of the inhibited enzyme.