Methylmercury is a highly toxic compound and human exposure is mainly related to consumption of polluted fish and seafood. The inactivation of thiol-based enzymes, promoted by the strong affinity binding of electrophilic mercuric ions to thiol and selenol groups of proteins, is likely an important factor explaining its toxicity. A key role is played by the chemistry and reactivity of the mercury–chalcogens bond, particularly Hg-S and Hg-Se, which is the focus of this computational work (level of theory: (COSMO)-ZORA-BLYP-D3(BJ)/TZ2P). We analyze nine ligand-exchange model reactions (the so-called Rabenstein's reactions) involving an entering ligand (methylchalcogenolate) and a substrate (methylchalcogenolatemethylmercury). Trends in reaction and activation energies are discussed and a change in mechanism is reported for all cases when going from gas phase to water, that is, from a single-well potential energy surface (PES) to a canonical SN2-like mechanism. The reasons accounting for the biochemically challenging and desired displacement of methylmercury from a seleno/thiol protein can be found already in these model reactions, as can be seen from the similarities of the ligand exchange reactions in solution in thermodynamics and kinetics.

Chalcogen–mercury bond formation and disruption in model Rabenstein's reactions: A computational analysis

Dalla Tiezza M.;Bortoli M.;Orian L.
2020

Abstract

Methylmercury is a highly toxic compound and human exposure is mainly related to consumption of polluted fish and seafood. The inactivation of thiol-based enzymes, promoted by the strong affinity binding of electrophilic mercuric ions to thiol and selenol groups of proteins, is likely an important factor explaining its toxicity. A key role is played by the chemistry and reactivity of the mercury–chalcogens bond, particularly Hg-S and Hg-Se, which is the focus of this computational work (level of theory: (COSMO)-ZORA-BLYP-D3(BJ)/TZ2P). We analyze nine ligand-exchange model reactions (the so-called Rabenstein's reactions) involving an entering ligand (methylchalcogenolate) and a substrate (methylchalcogenolatemethylmercury). Trends in reaction and activation energies are discussed and a change in mechanism is reported for all cases when going from gas phase to water, that is, from a single-well potential energy surface (PES) to a canonical SN2-like mechanism. The reasons accounting for the biochemically challenging and desired displacement of methylmercury from a seleno/thiol protein can be found already in these model reactions, as can be seen from the similarities of the ligand exchange reactions in solution in thermodynamics and kinetics.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
JCC-20-0185.R2_Proof_hi.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Preprint (submitted version)
Licenza: Accesso gratuito
Dimensione 2.19 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.19 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3350042
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 3
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact