Isolation of Lead-Amino Acid and Mercury-Amino Acid Complexes with Characterization in the Solid State, the Solution State, and the Gas Phase
Saunders, Cheryl D.L.
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Although some physiological effects of toxic metal poisoning have been known for centuries, the specific chemical interactions between biological molecules and mercury(I), mercury(II) or lead(II) are not well understood. To date, only thirteen crystal structures of inorganic mercury-amino acid complexes and six crystal structures of lead-amino acid complexes have been reported with varying degrees of characterization. In order to improve our understanding of the coordination chemistry of mercury and lead in biological environments, a systematic method for the isolation of inorganic metal-amino acid complexes from acidic aqueous solutions has been developed. With this method we have prepared five new lead-amino acid complexes (with L-valine, L-isoleucine, L-phenylalanine, and L-arginine) and four new mercury-amino acid complexes (with L-alanine, D-alanine, L-proline, and N-methyl-L-alanine). These metal-amino acid complexes have been comprehensively characterized in the solid state, solution state and gas phase. The development of this isolation technique in conjunction with the exploration of a number of characterization techniques for studying metal-amino acid interactions greatly enhances the known methods by which metal-biological molecule systems are studied.