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The Spectroscopy of Nitrogenases

MPS-Authors
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Van Stappen,  Casey
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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Decamps,  Laure Benedicte
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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Cutsail III,  George E.
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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Bjornsson,  Ragnar
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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Henthorn,  Justin Travis
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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Birrell,  James A.
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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DeBeer,  Serena
Research Department DeBeer, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Van Stappen, C., Decamps, L. B., Cutsail III, G. E., Bjornsson, R., Henthorn, J. T., Birrell, J. A., et al. (2020). The Spectroscopy of Nitrogenases. Chemical Reviews, 120(12), 5005-5081. doi:10.1021/acs.chemrev.9b00650.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-D4FE-C
Abstract
Nitrogenases are responsible for biological nitrogen fixation, a crucial step in the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle. These enzymes utilize a two-component protein system and a series of iron-sulfur clusters to perform this reaction, culminating at the FeMco active site (M = Mo, V, Fe), which is capable of binding and reducing N-2 to 2NH(3). In this review, we summarize how different spectroscopic approaches have shed light on various aspects of these enzymes, including their structure, mechanism, alternative reactivity, and maturation. Synthetic model chemistry and theory have also played significant roles in developing our present understanding of these systems and are discussed in the context of their contributions to interpreting the nature of nitrogenases. Despite years of significant progress, there is still much to be learned from these enzymes through spectroscopic means, and we highlight where further spectroscopic investigations are needed.