Magnesium complexes with reduced tetrapyrrolic ligands are active compounds of plant and bacteria photosystems. However, also the porphyrin complex appears as an intermediate on the biosynthetic pathway of the photosynthetic pigments. Its transformations, in particular the reduction
of pyrrole rings, lead to the acquisition of the properties that are primary for activity in antenna systems and reaction centers. On the other hand, modifications of the porphyrin system must affect the resistance to destructive processes, such as loss of metal ion and its substitution. In
order to compare the stability of three natural Mg complexes, namely Mg protoporphyrin IX, chlorophyll a, and bacteriochlorophyll a, spectroscopic studies in solution were performed. The difference in the electronic structure of the macrocyclic ligand was the basic variable in testing the
action against d-electron metal salts and acetic acid. The spectroscopic studies were supplemented with calculations using the Density Functional Theory which provided insight into the stability of M(II)-N bonds depending on the dimension of the delocalized electron system. The results indicate
the decreasing stability of Mg(II) complexes on the biosynthetic pathway, thereby providing an additional justification for incorporation of the metal ion into porphyrin prior to the electronic modifications of the tetrapyrrolic system.
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