A theoretical study of spin states in Ni-S4 complexes and models of the [NiFe] hydrogenase active site
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- Bruschi, M., De Gioia, L., Zampella, G. et al. J Biol Inorg Chem (2004) 9: 873. doi:10.1007/s00775-004-0588-2
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We have applied density functional theory, using both pure (BP86) and hybrid (B3LYP and B3LYP*) functionals, to investigate structural parameters and reaction energies for nickel(II)-sulfur coordination compounds, as well as for small cluster models of the Ni-SI and Ni-R redox state of [NiFe] hydrogenases. Results obtained investigating experimentally well-characterized complexes show that BP86 is well suited to describe the structural features of this class of compounds. However, the singlet–triplet energy splitting and even the computed ground state are strongly dependent on the applied functional. Results for the cluster models of [NiFe] hydrogenases lead to the conclusion that in the reduced protein structures characterized by X-ray diffraction a hydride bridges the two metal centres. The energy splitting of the singlet and triplet states in Ni-R and Ni-SI models is calculated to be very small and may be overcome at room temperature to allow a spin crossover. Moreover, the relative stability of the Ni-SI and Ni-R structures adopted in the present investigation is fully compatible with their involvement in the reversible heterolytic cleavage of H2.