JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 617–625

Density functional theory investigations of NiN2S2 reactivity as a function of nitrogen donor type and N–H···S hydrogen bonding inspired by nickel-containing superoxide dismutase

  • C. S. Mullins
  • C. A. Grapperhaus
  • P. M. Kozlowski
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00775-006-0109-6

Cite this article as:
Mullins, C.S., Grapperhaus, C.A. & Kozlowski, P.M. J Biol Inorg Chem (2006) 11: 617. doi:10.1007/s00775-006-0109-6


Density functional theory calculations on a series of six square-planar NiN2S2 complexes have been performed. The nitrogen donor type was varied from diamino in Ni(bme-dmed), 1, to amino-amido in [Ni(mama)], 2, to diamido in [Ni(ema)]2−, 3. The sulfur-oxygenated derivative Ni(bme-O2-dmed), 4, and hydrogen-bonded derivatives (5 and 6) of 2 and 3 were also studied. Full geometric optimization and subsequent population analyses were performed using the 6–311g(d,p) basis set. The frontier molecular orbitals for all complexes contain significant nickel and sulfur character. Molecular electrostatic potentials show that amido nitrogen donors increase electron density at nickel relative to sulfur. Sulfur modification further shifts electron density away from the ligand towards the metal. It is proposed that the nitrogen donor type and sulfur modification may regulate sulfur-site reactivity in nickel-containing superoxide dismutase.


Density functional theoryNickel-containing superoxide dismutaseNiN2S2 donor setHydrogen bondingSulfur modification



Density functional theory


Highest occupied molecular orbital


Lowest unoccupied molecular orbital


Natural bond orbital


Superoxide dismutase

Supplementary material

775_2006_109_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (308 kb)
Supplementary material

Copyright information

© SBIC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. Mullins
    • 1
  • C. A. Grapperhaus
    • 1
  • P. M. Kozlowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleKYUSA