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Biology LibreTexts

8E: Nitrogenase - A Reductive Use of Metal Clusters

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  • Learning Objectives

    • describe the structure, metal cofactors, and ligands of nitrogenase;
    • describe the path of electrons from the mobile electron carrier to the P cluster of nitrogenase;
    • discuss the role of ATP in the nitrogenase reaction;
    • draw and describe the Lowe and Thorneley cycle to show the sequential additions of electrons and protons to nitrogenase;
    • describe the properties of the E4 Janus intermediate and its role in backward and forward reactions in the cycle;
    • describe the role of H2 in the mechanism of nitrogenase;
    • describe the organometallic reactions oxidative addition and reductive elimination and their role in nitrogenase;
    • explain the mechanisms and changes in oxidation states for Fe ions and substrates/products for the first and second half of the nitrogenase reaction.