Myneni, SCB, and DC Edwards. 2005. “Hard and soft X-ray absorption spectroscopic investigation of aqueous Fe(III)-hydroxamate siderophore complexes.” Journal of Physical Chemistry A 109: 10249-10256.
Microorganisms release organic macromolecules, such as siderophores, to obtain Fe(III) from natural systems. While the relative stabilities of Fe(III)−siderophore complexes are well-studied, the structural environments of Fe(III) and ligands in the complex are not well-understood. Using the X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) at the Fe- and N-K absorption edges, we characterized the nature of Fe(III) interactions with a hydroxamate siderophore, desferrioxamine B (desB), and its small structural analogue, acetohydroxamic acid (aHa), as a function of pH (1.4−11.4). These experimental studies are complemented with DFT calculations. The Fe-XAS studies suggest that Fe(aHa)3 is the dominant species in aqueous solutions in the pH range of 2.8−10.1, consistent with thermochemical information. However, the N-XAS and resonance Raman studies show that the chemical state of the ligand in the Fe(aHa)3 complex changes significantly with pH, and these variations are correlated with further deprotonation of the Fe(aHa)3 complex. The N-XAS studies also indicate that the overlap of Fe 3d orbitals with the molecular orbitals of the hydroxamate group is significant. The Fe- and N-XAS studies of Fe(III)−desB complexes indicated that Fe(desB)+ is the dominant species between pH values of 1.4 and 11.4, consistent with predicted stability constants. This information is useful in understanding the role of iron in bacterial transport, siderosis treatment, and actinide sequestration at contaminated sites. This is the first N-XAS study of aqueous metal ligand complexes, which demonstrates the applications of soft-XAS in studying the electronic structure of metal complexes of organic macromolecules in aqueous solutions.