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Lead with a poisonous electron shield

inc, it only binds to the three sulfur atoms. The reason for this is the emerging free electron pair of the lead cation. It acts as an electronic shield on one side, pushing away the fourth ligand. Such a dramatic geometrical distortion at the active center could explain why lead inhibits this enzyme.

The different behavior of lead in these two enzymes demonstrates that it can enter into complexes in which the metal–ligand bonds can either point in all directions, or into only one hemisphere, while the other hemisphere is filled by the free electron pair. This observation may help in the design of future lead-specific antidotes.
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Source:John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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