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Issue 13, 2009
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A surprisingly complex aqueous chemistry of the simplest amino acid. A pulse radiolysis and theoretical study on H/D kinetic isotope effects in the reaction of glycine anions with hydroxyl radicals

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Abstract

A pulse radiolysis study was carried out of the reaction rate constants and kinetic isotope effects of hydroxyl-radical-induced H/D abstraction from the most-simple α-amino acid glycine in its anionic form in water. The rate constants and yields of three predominantly formed radical products, glycyl (NH2–˙CH–CO2), aminomethyl (NH2–˙CH2), and aminyl (˙NH–CH2–CO2) radicals, as well as of their partially or fully deuterated analogs, were found to be of comparable magnitude. The primary, secondary, and primary/secondary H/D kinetic isotope effects on the rate constants were determined with respect to each of the three radicals. The unusual variety of products for such an elementary reaction between two small and simple species indicates a complex mechanism with several reactions taking place simultaneously. Thus, a theoretical modeling of the reaction mechanism and kinetics in the gas- and aqueous phase was performed by using the unrestricted density functional theory with the BB1K functional (employing the polarizable continuum model for the aqueous phase), unrestricted coupled cluster UCCSD(T) method, and improved canonical variational theory. Several hydrogen-bonded prereaction complexes and transition states were detected. In particular, the calculations pointed to a significant mechanistic role of the three-electron two-orbital (σ/σ* N∴O) hemibonded prereaction complexes in the aqueous phase. A good agreement with the experimental rate constants and kinetic isotope effects was achieved by downshifting the calculated reaction barriers by 3 kcal mol−1 and damping the NH(D) stretching frequency by a factor of 0.86.

Graphical abstract: A surprisingly complex aqueous chemistry of the simplest amino acid. A pulse radiolysis and theoretical study on H/D kinetic isotope effects in the reaction of glycine anions with hydroxyl radicals

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Sep 2008, accepted on 27 Nov 2008 and first published on 19 Jan 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B816353G
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009,11, 2256-2267

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    A surprisingly complex aqueous chemistry of the simplest amino acid. A pulse radiolysis and theoretical study on H/D kinetic isotope effects in the reaction of glycine anions with hydroxyl radicals

    I. Štefanić, I. Ljubić, M. Bonifačić, A. Sabljić, K.-D. Asmus and D. A. Armstrong, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009, 11, 2256
    DOI: 10.1039/B816353G

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