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Author ORCID ID is 0000000232621237
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  1. In a series of rhenium tricarbonyl complexes coordinated by asymmetric diimine ligands containing a pyridine moiety bound to an oxazoline ring were synthesized, structurally and electrochemically characterized, and screened for CO 2 reduction ability. We reported complexes are of the type Re(N-N)(CO) 3Cl, with N-N = 2-(pyridin-2-yl)-4,5-dihydrooxazole (1), 5-methyl-2-(pyridin-2-yl)-4,5-dihydrooxazole (2), and 5-phenyl-2-(pyridin-2-yl)-4,5-dihydrooxazole (3). The electrocatalytic reduction of CO 2 by these complexes was observed in a variety of solvents and proceeds more quickly in acetonitrile than in dimethylformamide (DMF) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The analysis of the catalytic cycle for electrochemical CO 2 reduction by 1 in acetonitrile using densitymore » functional theory (DFT) supports the C–O bond cleavage step being the rate-determining step (RDS) (ΔG = 27.2 kcal mol –1). Furthermore, the dependency of the turnover frequencies (TOFs) on the donor number (DN) of the solvent also supports that C–O bond cleavage is the rate-determining step. Moreover, the calculations using explicit solvent molecules indicate that the solvent dependence likely arises from a protonation-first mechanism. Unlike other complexes derived from fac-Re(bpy)(CO) 3Cl (I; bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine), in which one of the pyridyl moieties in the bpy ligand is replaced by another imine, no catalytic enhancement occurs during the first reduction potential. Remarkably, catalysts 1 and 2 display relative turnover frequencies, (i cat/i p) 2, up to 7 times larger than that of I.« less
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  2. Demore » termining the principal energy-transfer pathways responsible for allosteric communication in biomolecules remains challenging, partially due to the intrinsic complexity of the systems and the lack of effective characterization methods. In this work, we introduce the eigenvector centrality metric based on mutual information to elucidate allosteric mechanisms that regulate enzymatic activity. Moreover, we propose a strategy to characterize the range of correlations that underlie the allosteric processes. We use the V-type allosteric enzyme imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase (IGPS) to test the proposed methodology. The eigenvector centrality method identifies key amino acid residues of IGPS with high susceptibility to effector binding. The findings are validated by solution NMR measurements yielding important biological insights, including direct experimental evidence for interdomain motion, the central role played by helix h α 1 , and the short-range nature of correlations responsible for the allosteric mechanism. Beyond insights on IGPS allosteric pathways and the nature of residues that could be targeted by therapeutic drugs or site-directed mutagenesis, the reported findings demonstrate the eigenvector centrality analysis as a general cost-effective methodology to gain fundamental understanding of allosteric mechanisms at the molecular level.« less
  3. Exposing ZrO 2 to strong acid induces protonic defects that permit ultrafast electron transfer through at least 4 nm of ZrO 2 .
  4. CRISPR-Cas9 is a genome editing technology with major impact in life sciences. In this system, the endonuclease Cas9 generates double strand breaks in DNA upon RNA-guided recognition of a complementary DNA sequence, which strictly requires the presence of a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) next to the target site. Although PAM recognition is essential for cleavage, it is unknown whether and how PAM binding activates Cas9 for DNA cleavage at spatially distant sites. Here, we find evidence of a PAM-induced allosteric mechanism revealed by microsecond molecular dynamics simulations. PAM acts as an allosteric effector and triggers the interdependent conformational dynamics ofmore » the Cas9 catalytic domains (HNH and RuvC), responsible for concerted cleavage of the two DNA strands. As a result, targeting such an allosteric mechanism should enable control of CRISPR-Cas9 functionality.« less
  5. Understanding structure–function relations in photosystem II (PSII) is important for the development of biomimetic photocatalytic systems. X-ray crystallography, computational modeling, and spectroscopy have played central roles in elucidating the structure and function of PSII. Recent breakthroughs in femtosecond X-ray crystallography offer the possibility of collecting diffraction data from the X-ray free electron laser (XFEL) before radiation damage of the sample, thereby overcoming the main challenge of conventional X-ray diffraction methods. However, the interpretation of XFEL data from PSII intermediates is challenging because of the issues regarding data-processing, uncertainty on the precise positions of light oxygen atoms next to heavy metalmore » centers, and different kinetics of the S-state transition in microcrystals compared to solution. Lastly, we summarize recent advances and outstanding challenges in PSII structure–function determination with emphasis on the implementation of quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics techniques combined with isomorphous difference Fourier maps, direct methods, and high-resolution spectroscopy.« less

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