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Substituent Effects on the Coordination Chemistry of Metal-Binding Pharmacophores


A combination of XAS, UV-vis, NMR, and EPR was used to examine the binding of a series of α-hydroxythiones to CoCA. All three appear to bind preferentially in their neutral, protonated forms. Two of the three clearly bind in a monodentate fashion, through the thione sulfur alone. Thiomaltol (TM) appears to show some orientational preference, on the basis of the NMR, while it appears that thiopyromeconic acid (TPMA) retains rotational freedom. In contrast, allothiomaltol (ATM), after initially binding in its neutral form, presumably through the thione sulfur, forms a final complex that is five-coordinate via bidentate coordination of ATM. On the basis of optical titrations, we speculate that this may be due to the lower initial pKa of ATM (8.3) relative to those of TM (9.0) and TPMA (9.5). Binding through the thione is shown to reduce the hydroxyl pKa by ∼0.7 pH unit on metal binding, bringing only ATM's pKa close to the pH of the experiment, facilitating deprotonation and subsequent coordination of the hydroxyl. The data predict the presence of a solvent-exchangeable proton on TM and TPMA, and Q-band 2-pulse ESEEM experiments on CoCA + TM suggest that the proton is present. ESE-detected EPR also showed a surprising frequency dependence, giving only a subset of the expected resonances at X-band.

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