Nitrosoalkanes as Fe(II) ligands in the hemoglobin and myoglobin complexes formed from nitroalkanes in reducing conditions

Eur J Biochem. 1977 Jun 15;76(2):617-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1977.tb11632.x.


Primary and secondary aliphatic nitro compounds, R2CHNO2, react with myoglobin and hemoglobin, in the presence of sodium dithionite, leading to new complexes with Soret peaks respectively at 425 and 421 nm. These complexes are very stable even after disappearance of the starting nitro compounds and do not exchange their exogenous ligand after 10 h under 1 atm (101 325 Pa) CO. They are low-spin hexacoordinated myoglobin or hemoglobin complexes, as shown by the resonance Raman spectrum of the nitromethane-derived human hemoglobin complex which is similar to those of the known hemoglobin complexes with O2, CO, NO and nitrosobenzene. Evidence has been produced to show that the nitro compounds themselves do not bind to the hemoproteins; we propose that among the reduction derivatives produced in situ by dithionite, the corresponding unstable nitroso monomers, whose nitroso group is isoelectronic with dioxygen, are the actual ligands of the 425-nm or 421-nm-absorbing complexes.

MeSH terms

  • Alkanes*
  • Ferrous Compounds*
  • Hemoglobins*
  • Humans
  • Iron*
  • Kinetics
  • Ligands
  • Myoglobin*
  • Nitro Compounds*
  • Nitroso Compounds*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Binding
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Alkanes
  • Ferrous Compounds
  • Hemoglobins
  • Ligands
  • Myoglobin
  • Nitro Compounds
  • Nitroso Compounds
  • Iron