Ultrafast infrared spectral fingerprints of Vitamin B12 and related cobalamins

Alex Jones, Henry J. Russell, Gregory M. Greetham, Michael Towrie, Sam Hay, Nigel Scrutton

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    Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin, CNCbl) and its derivatives are structurally complex and functionally diverse biomolecules. The excited state and radical pair reaction dynamics that follow their photoexcitation have been previously studied in detail using UV–visible techniques. Similar time-resolved infrared (TRIR) data are limited, however. Herein we present TRIR difference spectra in the 1300–1700 cm–1 region between 2 ps and 2 ns for adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), methylcobalamin (MeCbl), CNCbl, and hydroxocobalamin (OHCbl). The spectral profiles of all four cobalamins are complex, with broad similarities that suggest the vibrational excited states are related, but with a number of identifiable variations. The majority of the signals from AdoCbl and MeCbl decay with kinetics similar to those reported in the literature from UV–visible studies. However, there are regions of rapid (<10 ps) vibrational relaxation (peak shifts to higher frequencies from 1551, 1442, and 1337 cm–1) that are more pronounced in AdoCbl than in MeCbl. The AdoCbl data also exhibit more substantial changes in the amide I region and a number of more gradual peak shifts elsewhere (e.g., from 1549 to 1563 cm–1), which are not apparent in the MeCbl data. We attribute these differences to interactions between the bulky adenosyl and the corrin ring after photoexcitation and during radical pair recombination, respectively. Although spectrally similar to the initial excited state, the long-lived metal-to-ligand charge transfer state of MeCbl is clearly resolved in the kinetic analysis. The excited states of CNCbl and OHCbl relax to the ground state within 40 ps with few significant peak shifts, suggesting little or no homolysis of the bond between the Co and the upper axial ligand. Difference spectra from density functional theory calculations (where spectra from simplified cobalamins with an upper axial methyl were subtracted from those without) show qualitative agreement with the experimental data. They imply the excited state intermediates in the TRIR difference spectra resemble the dissociated states vibrationally (the cobalamin with the upper axial ligand missing) relative to the ground state with a methyl in this position. They also indicate that most of the TRIR signals arise from vibrations involving some degree of motion in the corrin ring. Such coupling of motions throughout the ring makes specific peak assignments neither trivial nor always meaningful, suggesting our data should be regarded as IR spectral fingerprints.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5586-5594
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
    Issue number23
    Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2012

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