You are on page 1of 4

Metal ion catalysis, or

electrostatic catalysis, is a specific mechanism that utilizes metalloenzymes with tightly bound metal ions such as Fe2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, Co3+, Ni3+, Mo + !the first three being the most commonly used" to carry out a catalytic reaction# $his area of catalysis also includes metal ions which are not tightly bound to a metalloenzyme, such as Na+, %+, Mg2+, Ca2+#&nzymes can catalyze a reaction by the use of metals# Metals often facilitate the catalytic process in different ways# $he metals can either assist in the catalyic reaction, acti'ate the enzyme to begin the catalysis or they can inhibit reactions in solution# Metals acti'ate the enzyme by changing its shape but are not actually in'ol'ed in the catalytic reaction#First, the metal can ma(e it easier to form a nucleophile which is the case of carbonic anhydrase and other enzymes# )n this case, the metal facilitates the release of a proton from a bound water to produce

a nucleophilic hydro*ide ion and start the catalytic reaction# +ith the polarization of the ,-. bond, the acidity of the bound water can increase# &/ually important, the metal can promote the production of an electrophile which in turn stabilizes the negati'e charge on the intermediate# 0lso, metals can promote binding of the enzyme and substrate by acting as a bridge to increase the binding energy and orient them correctly to ma(e the reaction possible#Common metals that ta(e part in metal ion catalysts are copper ion and zinc ion# $he catalysis of carbo*ypeptidase 0 is a prime e*ample of this catalytic strategy# $he iron metal ion is also 'ery common-from the binding of o*ygen to hemoglobin and myoglobin, to participating as an electron carrier in the cytochromes of the electron transport chain, to e'en as a deto*ifying agent in catalase and pero*idase#Metal ions also ha'e the ability to stabilize transition states, which ma(es them 'ery useful in catalytic chemistry because it allows them to stabilize unstable

intermediates that are still transitioning into a structure that1s going to allow them to react with another substrate and form the final product# For e*ample, in the presence of a tetrahedral o*yanion and another o*ygen that is attached to a carbonyl functional group nearby that is also about to become nucleophilic as an intermediate, the metal ion can coordinate to these two neighboring anions and participate in charge stabilization#Forming this Copper 2+ metal ion bridge allows both nucleophilic2anionic o*ygens to be stabilized at the same time# )t also positions this molecule in the appropriate geometry for brea(ing or forming bonds# Metal ions li(e these enable species to ac/uire a reacti'e role by coercing them to adopt unusual angles and bond distances#Metal ions that are not tightly bound to a metalloenzyme, such as Na+ and %+ mentioned earlier participate as specific charge carriers in the membrane of our cells# For e*ample, Na+ and %+ control the membrane1s electrostatic

'oltage# $hey are ions that conduct the inside of our membrane1s to ha'e a net negati'e charge by the use of ion pumps and concentration gradients# Ca2+ is also an important metal ion that controls and regulates the passing of neurotransmitters from one a*on to the ne*t in order to sound out signals throughout the body#