Density functional geometry optimization and energy calculations of calcium(II)-triphosphate complexes. Polyphosphates as possible dissolving agents for calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals in chondrocalcinosis disease

J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2000 Aug;18(1):155-68. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2000.10506655.


Geometry optimizations and energy calculations have been carried out via molecular orbital methods at the density functional B3LYP/LANL2DZ level on the molecules PO3-, OPO3(3-), HOPO3(2-), CH3OPO3(2-), H(CH3OPO3)-, O(PO3)2(4-), HO(PO3)2(3-), CH2(PO3)2(4-), (CH3OPO2)O(PO3)3-, O(PO3)3(5-), HO(PO3)3(4-), (PO3)3(3-), (CH3OPO2)O(PO3)2(4-), [Mg[O(PO3)2)]]2-, [Ca[O(PO3)2]]2-, [Ca[CH2(PO3)2]]2-, [Ca[CH3OPO2)O(PO3)]]-, [Ca(PO3)3]-, [Ca[O(PO3)3]]3-, and [Ca[CH3OPO2)O(PO3)2]]2- with the aim to find reliable and easily accessible computational methods to simulate some phosphate-containing molecules of importance for the living cells and to study the energetics for protonation and metal-complex formation reactions. The analysis is part of a general investigation on phosphate-containing molecules as potential dissolving agents for calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystals which deposit in certain articular diseases. The basis set was expanded to 6-31G** for the P atoms for all the molecules investigated and to 6-31G* for the O atoms for OPO3(3-). Calculations at the semiempirical MNDO/d level were also carried out for comparison purposes on the free ligand molecules and on [Mg[O(PO3)2]]2-. The density functional analysis reproduced well the geometry found at the solid state via X-ray diffraction. The analyses of the geometrical parameters and the total electronic energy of the molecules shows that O(PO3)2(4-) and other di- and tri-phosphates are versatile ligands for divalent metal ions like Ca2+. The computed P-O-P bond angle for free O(PO3)2(4-) is 180 degrees and the conformation of the two PO3- groupings is staggered along the P...P vector. The linear arrangement for P-O-P is assisted by P-O pi interactions. The bending of the P-O-P angle when accompanied by a slight P-O(b) elongation requires a very small amount of energy; 4.65 kcal/mol to pass from 180 to 140 degrees , as calculated at the DFT level. The computed Ca-O and Mg-O bond distances for [M[O(PO3)2]]2- are 2.378 and 2.079A, when the metal ions link two oxygen atoms from each PO3 group. The computed Ca-O bond lengths for [Ca[CH3OPO2)O(PO3)]]- are 2.482 (PalphaO2) and 2.358A (PbetaO2), showing a significant lengthening for Ca-OPalpha, when compared to the pyrophosphate derivative. The Ca-O bond lengths for [Ca[O(PO3)3]]3- and [Ca[CH3OPO2)O(PO3)2]]2- are 2.251A and 2.525 (PalphaO2), 2.407 and 2.338 (PbetaO2), and 2.251 and 2.228A (PgammaO2), showing a shortening for the Ca-OPgamma bond upon methylation. The (Pbeta)O-Pgamma bond length increases significantly (0.09 A) upon Ca(II) coordination to (CH3OPO2)O(PO3)2(4-) via all the three PO3 groups. This latter result suggests that metal complexes of linear organic-triphosphates have a larger tendency to release the PgammaO3 group when compared to the free ligand molecules. The electronic contribution to the energy of the complex formation reaction for [Ca[CH2(PO3)2]]2- is only slightly higher (some 1.8 kcal) than that for [Ca[O(PO3)2]]2-; but is much higher (some 63 kcal) than that relevant to the formation of [Ca[CH3OPO2)O(PO3)2]]2-. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Phosphates / chemistry*
  • Calcium Pyrophosphate / chemistry
  • Chondrocalcinosis / metabolism*
  • Crystallization
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Models, Molecular
  • Polyphosphates / chemistry
  • Thermodynamics


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Polyphosphates
  • Calcium Pyrophosphate