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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 3 (2001), Issue 3, Pages 161-169

Photochemical reactions of metal nitrosyl complexes. Mechanisms of NO reactions with biologically relevant metal centers

Department of Chemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The discoveries that nitric oxide (a.k.a. nitrogen monoxide) serves important roles in mammalian bioregulation and immunology have stimulated intense interest in the chemistry and biochemistry of NO and derivatives such as metal nitrosyl complexes. Also of interest are strategies to deliver NO to biological targets on demand. One such strategy would be to employ a precursor which displays relatively low thermal reactivity but is photochemically active to release NO. This proposition led us to investigate laser flash and continuous photolysis kinetics of nitrosyl complexes such as the Roussin's iron-sulfur-nitrosyl cluster anions Fe2S2(NO)42 and Fe4S3(NO)7 and several ruthenium salen and porphyrin nitrosyls. These include studies using metal-nitrosyl photochemistry as a vehicle for delivering NO to hypoxic cell cultures in order to sensitize γ-radiation damage. Also studied were the rates and mechanisms of NO “on” reactions with model water soluble heme compounds, the ferriheme protein met-myoglobin and various ruthenium complexes using ns laser flash photolysis techniques. An overview of these studies is presented.