We investigate the correlations between the redox potentials of nonalkylated cobalt corrinoids and the Co-C bond dissociation energies (BDEs) of the methylated species with an aqua or histidine axial ligand. A set of cobalt corrinoids, cobalamin, and its model systems, which include new version of myoglobin reconstituted with cobalt didehydrocorrin, are investigated. The Co(III)/Co(II) and Co(II)/Co(I) redox potentials of myoglobin reconstituted with cobalt tetradehydrocorrin and didehydrocorrin and the bare cofactors were determined. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were performed to estimate the Co-C BDEs of the methylated species. It is found that the redox potentials correlate well with the heterolytic BDEs, which are dependent on the electronegativity of the corrinoid frameworks. The present study offers two important insights into our understanding of how enzymes promote the reactions: (i) homolysis is promoted by strong axial ligation and (ii) heterolysis is controlled by the redox potentials, which are regulated by the saturated framework and axial ligation in the enzyme.
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