The development of recombinant DNA techniques opened a new era for protein production both in scientific research and industrial application. However, the purification of recombinant proteins is very often quite difficult and inefficient. Therefore, we tried to employ novel techniques for the expression and purification of three pharmacologically interesting proteins: the plant toxin gelonin; a fusion protein of gelonin and the extracellular domain of the subunit of the acetylcholine receptor (gelonin-AchR) and human neurotrophin 3 (hNT3). Recombinant gelonin, acetylcholine receptor a subunit and their fusion product, gelonin-AchR were constructed and expressed. The gelonin gene, a 753 bp polynucleotide was chemically synthesized by Ya-Wei Shi et al. and was kindly provided to us. The gene was first inserted into the vector pUC118 yielding pUC-gel. It was subsequently transferred into pET28a and pET-gel was expressed in E. coli. The product, gelonin was soluble and was purified in two steps showing a homogeneous band corresponding to 28 kD on SDS-PAGE. The expression of the extracellular domain of the -subunit of AchR always led to insoluble aggregates and even upon coexpression with the chaperonin GroESL, very small and hardly reproducible amounts of soluble material were formed, only. Therefore, recombinant AchR- gelonin was cloned and expressed in the same host. The corresponding fusion protein, gelonin-AchR, again formed aggregates and it had to be solubilized in 6 M Gu-HCl for further purification and refolding. The final product, however, was recognized by several monoclonal antibodies directed against the extracellular domain of the -subunit of AchR as well as a polyclonal serum against gelonin. Expression and purification of recombinant hNT3 was achieved by the use of a protein self-splicing system. Based on the reported hNT3 DNA sequence, a 380 bp fragment corresponding to a 14 kD protein was amplified from genomal DNA of human whole blood by PCR. The DNA fragment was cloned into the pTXB1 vector, which contains a DNA fragment of intein and chintin binding domain (CBD). A further construct, pJLA-hNT3, is temperature-inducible. Both constructs expressed the target protein, hNT3-intein-CBD in E. coli by the induction with IPTG or temperature, however, as aggregates. After denaturation and renaturation, the soluble fusion protein was slowly loaded on an affinity column of chitin beads. A 14 kD hNT3 could be isolated after cleavage with DTT either at 4 °C or 25 °C for 48 h. Based on nerve fiber out-growth of the dorsal root ganglia of chicken embryos, both, hNT-3-intein-CBD and hNT3 itself exhibit almost the same biological activity.
Lung cancer, mainly caused by tobacco smoke, is the leading cause of cancer mortality. Large efforts in prevention and cessation have reduced smoking rates in the U.S. and other countries. Nevertheless, since 1990, rates have remained constant and it is believed that most of those currently smoking (~25%) are addicted to nicotine, and therefore are unable to stop smoking. An alternative strategy to reduce lung cancer mortality is the development of chemopreventive mixtures used to reduce cancer risk. Before entering clinical trails, it is crucial to know the efficacy, toxicity and the molecular mechanism by which the active compounds prevent carcinogenesis. 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) are among the most carcinogenic compounds in tobacco smoke. All have been widely used as model carcinogens and their tumorigenic activities are well established. It is believed that formation of DNA adducts is a crucial step in carcinogenesis. NNK and NNN form 4-hydroxy-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone releasing and methylating adducts, while B[a]P forms B[a]P-tetraol-releasing adducts. Different isothiocyanates (ITCs) are able to prevent NNK-, NNN- or B[a]P-induced tumor formation, but relative little is know about the mechanism of these preventive effects. In this thesis, the influence of different ITCs on adduct formation from NNK plus B[a]P and NNN were evaluated. Using an A/J mouse lung tumor model, it was first shown that the formation of HPB-releasing, O6-mG and B[a]P-tetraol-releasing adducts were not affected when NNK and B[a]P were given individually or in combination, of by gavage. Using the same model, the effects of different mixtures of PEITC and BITC, given by gavage or in the diet, on DNA adduct formation were evaluated. Dietary treatment with phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) or PEITC plus benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) reduced levels of HPB-releasing adducts by 40*50%. This is consistent with a previously shown 40% inhibition of tumor multiplicity for the same treatment. In the gavage treatments with ITCs it seemed that PEITC reduced HPB-releasing DNA adducts, while levels of BITC counteracted these effects. Levels of O6-mG were minimally affected by any of the treatments. Levels of B[a]P-tetraol releasing adducts were reduced by gavaged PEITC Summary Page XII and BITC, 120 h after the last carcinogen treatment, while dietary treatment had no effects. We then extended our investigation to F-344 rats by using a similar ITC treatment protocol as in the mouse model. NNK was given in the drinking water and B[a]P in diet. Dietary PEITC reduced the formation of HPB-releasing globin and DNA adducts in lung but not in liver, while levels of B[a]P-tetraol-releasing adducts were unaffected. Additionally, the effects of PEITC, 3-phenlypropyl isothiocyanate, and their N-acetylcystein conjugates in diet on adducts from NNN in drinking water were evaluated in rat esophageal DNA and globin. Using a protocol known to inhibit NNNinduced esophageal tumorigenesis, the levels of HPB-releasing adduct levels were unaffected by the ITCs treatment. The observations that dietary PEITC inhibited the formation of HPB-releasing DNA adducts only in mice where the control levels were above 1 fmol/µg DNA and adduct levels in rat lung were reduced to levels seen in liver, lead to the conclusion that in mice and rats, there are at least two activation pathway of NNK. One is PEITC-sensitive and responsible for the high adduct levels in lung and presumably also for higher carcinogenicity of NNK in lung. The other is PEITC-insensitive and responsible for the remaining adduct levels and tumorigenicity. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that the preventive mechanism by which ITCs inhibit carcinogenesis is only in part due to inhibition of DNA adduct formation and that other mechanisms are involved. There is a large body of evidence indicating that induction of apoptosis may be a mechanism by which ITCs prevent tumor formation, but further studies are required.
Clusters bridge the gap between single atoms or molecules and the condensed phase and it is the challenge of cluster science to obtain a deeper understanding of the molecular foundation of the observed cluster specific properties/reactivities and their dependence on size. The electronic structure of hydrated magnesium monocations [Mg,nH2O]+, n<20, exhibits a strong cluster size dependency. With increasing number of H2O ligands the SOMO evolves from a quasi-valence state (n=3-5), in which the singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO) is not yet detached from the metal atom and has distinct sp-hybrid character, to a contact ion pair state. For larger clusters (n=17,19) these ion pair states are best described as solvent separated ion pair states, which are formed by a hydrated dication and a hydrated electron. With growing cluster size the SOMO moves away from the magnesium ion to the cluster surface, where it is localized through mutual attractive interactions between the electron density and dangling H-atoms of H2O ligands forming "molecular tweezers" HO-H (e-) H-OH. In case of the hydrated aluminum monocations [Al,nH2O]+,n=20, different isomers of the formal stoichiometry [Al,20H2O]+ were investigated by using gradient-corrected DFT (BLYP) and three different basic structures for [Al,20H2O]+ were identified: (a) [AlI(H2O)20]+ with a threefold coordinated AlI; (b) [HAlIII(OH)(H2O)19]+ with a fourfold coordinated AlIII; (c) [HAlIII(OH)(H2O)19]+ with a fivefold coordinated AlIII. In ground state [AlI(H2O)20]+ (a) which contains aluminum in oxidation state +1 the 3s2 valence electrons remain located at the aluminium monocation. Different than for open shell magnesium monocations no electron transfer into the hydration shell is observed for closed shell AlI. However, clusters of type (a) are high energy isomers (DE»+190 kJ mol-1) and the activation barrier for reaction into cluster type (b) or (c) is only approximately 14 kJ mol-1. The performed ab initio calculations reveal that unlike in [Mg,nH2O]+, n=7-17, for which H atom eliminiation is found to be the result of an intracluster redoxreaction, in [Al,nH2O]+,n=20, H2 is formed in an intracluster acid-base reaction. In [Mg,nH2O]+, n>17, the magnesium dication was found to coexist with a hydrated electron in larger cluster sizes. This proves that intermolecular electron delocalization - previously almost exclusively studied in (H2O)n- and (NH3)n- clusters - can also be an important issue for water clusters doped with an open shell metal cation or a metal anion. Structures and stabilities of hydrated magnesium water cluster anions with the formal stoichiometry [Mg,nH2O]-, n=1-11, were investigated by application of various correlated ab initio methods (MP2, CCSD, CCSD(T)). Metal cations surely have high relevance in numerous biological processes, and as most biological processes take place in aqueous solution hydrated metal ions will be involved. However, in biological systems solvent molecules (i.e. water) compete with different solvated chelate ligands for coordination sites at the metal ion and the solvent and chelate ligands are in mutual interactions with each other and the metal ion. These interactions were investigated for the hydration of ZnII/carnosine complexes by application of FT-ICR-MS, gas-phase H/D exchange experiments and supporting ab initio calculations. In the last chapter of this work the Free Electron Laser IR Multi Photon Dissocition (FEL-IR-MPD) spectra of mass selected cationic niobium acetonitrile complexes with the formal stoichiometry [Nb,nCH3CN]+, n=4-5, in the spectral range 780 – 2500 cm-1 are reported. In case of n=4 the recorded vibrational bands are close to those of the free CH3CN molecule and the experimental spectra do not contain any evident indication of a potential reaction beyond complex formation. By comparison with B3LYP calculated IR absorption spectra the recorded spectra are assigned to high spin (quintet, S=2), planar [NbI(NCCH3)4]+. In [Nb,nCH3CN]+, n=5, new vibrational bands shifted away from those of the acetonitrile monomer are observed between 1300 – 1550 cm-1. These bands are evidence of a chemical modification due to an intramolecular reaction. Screening on the basis of B3LYP calculated IR absorption spectra allow for an assignment of the recorded spectra to the metallacyclic species [NbIII(NCCH3)3(N=C(CH3)C(CH3)=N)]+ (triplet, S=1), which has formed in a internal reductive nitrile coupling reaction from [NbI(NCCH3)5]+. Calculated reaction coordinates explain the experimentally observed differences in reactivity between ground state [NbI(NCCH3)4]+ and [NbI(NCCH3)5]+. The reductive nitrile coupling reaction is exothermic and accessible (Ea=49 kJ mol-1) only in [NbI(NCCH3)5]+, whereas in [NbI(NCCH3)4]+ the reaction is found to be endothermic and retarded by significantly higher activation barriers (Ea>116 kJ mol-1).
Under physiological conditions oxygen is constantly being converted to reactive oxygen intermediates, in mitochondria, peroxisomes, cytochrome p450 systems, macrophages, neutrophils and in plasma membranes. These reactive oxygen species (ROS) are toxic and therefore alter cell integrity leading to cell damage. To protect itself against this toxic effect of ROS, living systems have developed defence systems that scavenge ROS formation. These systems include some enzymes, transporting proteins and small antioxidant molecules for instance vitamin C and E. This thesis describes a study on the antioxidant chemistry and activity of vitamin C in vivo and in vitro systems using ESR spectroscopy. Also, a new method was designed to label ascorbic acid with a fluorescent marker. Moreover, some important criteria were considered for the evaluation and quantification of ascorbyl radicals in human blood plasma using two types of ESR spectrometers.
The HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors SIM, LOV, ATV, PRA, FV and NKS were investigated for their effects on human SkMCs. We were able to demonstrate that statins can induce oxidative stress (ROS formation, GSH-depletion, TBARS), apoptosis (, caspase-3 activity, nuclear morphology) and necrosis (LDH-leakage) in hSkMCs. After incubation with statins, the sequence of cellular events starts by the increased formation of ROS (30 min) followed by caspase-3 activation (2-4 hours) and necrosis (LDH-leakage) and formation of condensed and fragmented nuclei after 24-72 hours. It was shown that, antioxidants (NAC, DTT, TPGS, M-2 and M-3) and the HMG-CoA reductase downstream metabolites (MVA, F, FPP, GG and GGPP) protected against statin-induced ROS formation, caspase-3 activation and partially from necrosis. The caspase-3 inhibitor Ac-DEVD-CHO rescues cells partially from necrosis. These results suggest that the statin-induced necrosis is HMG-CoA dependent and occurs secondary to apoptosis, which by decrease of ATP is driven into necrosis. The increase of ATP observed at low concentrations and early time points suggest an increased glycolytic activity. This was confirmed by increased PDK-4 gene expression and increased PFK2/F-2,6-BPase expression both activator of glycolysis. Glycolysis was also confirmed for some statins by increased cellular lactate concentations. The consequence of PDK-4 mediated pyruvate dehydrogenase inactivation is the metabolic switching from fatty acid to amino acid from proteins as energy source. The oxidative stress hypothesis was further supported by the induction of the FOXO3A transcription factor, which is involved in regulating MnSOD-2 expression in the mitochondrium. The mechanism by which statins produce ROS is still not resolved. There is an indirect evidence from our experiments as well as from the literature, that immediately after the statin treatment, intracellular Ca2+ is mobilized due to HMG-CoA reductase inhibition, which after mitochondrial uptake could lead to increased ROS formation.
Metallocenes containing diarylethene type photochromic switches are synthesized, characterized and tested in polyolefin catalysts. Propylene polymerizations using unbridged bis(2,3-dibenzo[b]thiophen-3-yl)cyclopenta[b]thien-3-yl)zirconium dichloride/MAO (80) treated with 254nm UV irradiation produced bimodal polymer distributions by GPC. This was due to an increase in the low molecular weight fractions when the closed form of the catalyst/photoswitch was made. Comparison with similarly structured catalyst without photoisomerization properties did not produce bimodal polymer under identical conditions. Propylene polymerizations made with dimethylsilyl[(1,5-dimethyl-3-phenylcyclopenta[b]thien-6-yl)][(2,3-dibenzothien-3-yl)cyclopenta[b]thien-6-yl)]zirconium dichloride/MAO (86) with 254nm UV irradiation caused a 3 fold increase in the polymer molecular weight. Polymers made with ethylene and ethylene/hexene using (80) after UV irradiation did not show differences in measured polymer properties. Polymerizations with ethylene/ hexene mixtures using (86) had increased activity and co-monomer (hexene) incorporation with UV irradiation.
Sterisch anspruchsvolle Cyclopentadienyl-Liganden wurden zur Stabilisierung neuer Mono(cyclopentadienyl) Verbindungen der schweren Erdalkalimetalle eingesetzt und deren Funktionalisierbarkeit dieser Spezies wurde exemplarisch durch die Synthese neutraler Tripeldecker-Sandwichkomplexe demonstriert. Die dabei ausgebildeten Molekülstrukturen lassen sich mittels DFT-Rechnungen zuverlässig vorhersagen. In diesem Zusammenhang wurde ebenfalls der Cyclononatetraenyl-Ligand, dessen Komplexeigenschaften bisher nur unzureichend untersucht wurden, eingesetzt. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit gelang die Synthese des Bis(cyclononatetraenyl)bariums, Ba(C9H9)2, und dessen spektroskopische Charakterisierung. DFT-Rechnungen sagen für diesen Komplex eine Metallocenstruktur mit nahezu parallelen Ringen und einem Ba-Ring Abstand von 2.37 Å voraus. Durch den Einsatz des Tetraisopropylcyclopentadienyl (4Cp) und Tri(tert.-butyl)cyclopentadienyl (Cp’)-Liganden gelang die Synthese von Bis- und Monocyclopentadienyl-Verbindungen der frühen und späten Lanthanoide. Besonders interessant in diesem Zusammenhang ist die erfolgreiche Darstellung des Azido-Clusters, [Na(dme)3]2[4Cp6Yb6(N3)14] (4Cp= (Me2CH)4C5H), der die unterschiedlichen Koordinationsmöglichkeiten des Azido-Liganden in einem einzigen Komplex vereint. Vergleichbare Komplexe waren in der Organolanthanoidchemie bisher unbekannt. Durch Substitution am Cyclopentadienyl-System lassen sich dessen elektronische und sterische Eigenschaften signifikant verändern. Die Auswirkungen dieser Effekte können sehr eindrucksvoll an Manganocen-Komplexen demonstriert werden, in denen sich der low- und high-spin Zustand energetisch nur sehr wenig unterscheiden. Der elektronische Grundzustand einer Reihe unterschiedlich substituierter Manganocen-Komplexe wurde mittels Festkörpermagnetismus, ESR, Röntgenstrukturanalyse, EXAFS und variabler Temperatur UV-Vis Spektroskopie bestimmt, und mit dem Substitutionsmuster am Cyclopentadienyl-System korreliert. Spin-Gleichgewichte ließen sich für [(Me3C)C5H4]2Mn, [(Me3C)2C5H3]2Mn und [(Me3C)(Me3Si)C5H3]2Mn nachweisen. Theoretische Rechnungen postulieren, dass Cerocen, Ce(C8H8)2, ein Beispiel für Moleküle mit gemischt-konfiguriertem Grundzustand sei, der durch 80 % [(Ce)f1e2u(cot)e2u3] und 20 % [(Ce)f0e2u(cot)e2u4] beschreiben werden könne. Obwohl dieses Molekül bereits seit 1976 bekannt ist, ist dessen elektronische Struktur bis heute sehr umstritten. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wurden neue Synthesekonzepte für diese Verbindung entwickelt und die elektronische Struktur mittels magnetischer Messungen im Festkörper, EXAFS und XANES Studien untersucht. Die dabei erhaltenen Daten sind in sehr guter Übereinstimmung mit den theoretischen Rechnungen und belegen die Bedeutung eines gemischt-konfigurierten Grundzustandes bei der Bindung in Organometallkomplexen der f-Block Metalle. Während in Cerocen nur ein temperaturunabhängiger Paramagnetismus (TIP) beobachtet werden kann, findet man eine starke Temperaturabhängigkeit der magnetischen Suszeptibilität in Ytterbium Systemen des Typs Cp’2Yb(bipy’) [Cp´ und bipy´ sind substituierte Cyclopentadienyl- oder 4,4’-substituierter 2,2’-Bipyridyl-Liganden]. Temperaturabhängige XANES-Experimenten belegen, dass auch in diesen Systemen ein gemischt-konfigurierter Grundzustand vorliegt, der durch [(Yb)f14(bipy)b1()0] und [(Yb)f13(bipy)b1()1] beschreiben werden kann. Der relative Anteil beider Wellenfunktionen zum Grundzustand wird durch Substitution am 2,2’-Bipyridyl- oder Cyclopentadienyl-System signifikant beeinflusst. Modelle, mit denen sich dieses Verhalten qualitativ beschreiben lässt, wurden im Rahmen dieser Arbeit entwickelt. Ein kinetisch stabilisiertes, adduktfreies Titanocen wurde unter Verwendung des Di(tert.-butyl)cyclopentadienyl Liganden hergestellt und dessen Reaktivität gegenüber kleinen Molekülen, z.B. CO, N2 und H2 untersucht. Im Rahmen der Reaktivitätsstudien wurden ebenfalls 2,2’-Bipyridyl Addukte an das Cp’2Ti Fragment synthetisiert und deren magnetische Eigenschaften erforscht. Durch Variationen am 2,2’-Bipyridyl System lässt sich das Singlet-Triplet Splitting in diesem System gezielt steuern.
Uncoupling protein1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue was discovered earlier as the main uncoupling source of respiration. We describe the basic facts and a modest contribution of our group to the area of research on mitochondrial uncoupling proteins. After defining the terms uncoupling, leak, proton-mediated uncoupling, we discuss the assumption that due to its low abundance, uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) can provide only mild uncoupling, i.e. can decrease the proton motive force by several mV only. A fatty acid cycling mechanism is described as a plausible explanation for the protonophoretic function of all uncoupling proteins together with our experiments supporting it. A speculation for the phylogenesis of all uncoupling proteins can be deduced by estimated UCP2 content in several tissues, and details of its activation are explained on the basis of our experiments. In the present study a solubilization and refolding method for UCP2 from inclusion bodies was developed and characterized. As it was known and also demonstrated from previous experiments on UCP1 that fatty acids are substrates, we used the same procedure to study the function of UCP2. Utilizing spin-labelled fatty acids (SLFA) for our experiments we demonstrated the binding of fatty acids to UCP2, and the competition of other natural fatty acids like oleic acid, palmitic acid, arachidonic acid and eicosatrienoic acid to the preformed complex emphasizes the presence of a fatty acid binding site for mitochondrial UCP2. The findings were observed by EPR spectroscopy where the highly immobilized spectra with presence of spin-labelled fatty acid eventually end up as free spin label spectra with a particular concentration of the natural fatty acid added to the UCP2 bound with spin-labelled fatty acid. This fits in significantly with the earlier findings of UCP1 and also leads to assumption of functional explanation about the physiological relevance between the uncoupling proteins functions. The present study, in which representative and sensitive parameters for EPR spectroscopy were established, at the same time describes the concentration effects of fatty acids upon the protein bound with spin-labelled fatty acids which are much of importance in comparison to physiological levels, being in the micromolar range (µM) as compared with milli molar (mM) as for UCP1 previously. In appropriate examples, different fatty acids are used and compared with competitors like alkylsulfonates also emphasizing the function of the protein. And the studies with the effect of nucleotides inhibition demonstrate that there exists a putative binding site for fatty acids. Much significance lies in demonstration with the spin-labelled-ATP studies where competition of ATP to the protein bound to spin-labelled ATP explains about the inhibition effect of nucleotides on the UCP2. So the present study applies different methods for the functional characterization of UCP2. The studies of natural fatty acids and alkylsulfonates with UCP2 bound to spin-labelled fatty acid, and study of nucleotide inhibition on UCP2 are closely related and give the much awaited answer to the question of functional similarities between UCP1 and UCP2. This supports the discussion of many groups which predict the functional similarity between these two proteins based upon sequence homology. Also many attempts have been reported in literature to explain the physiological functional relevance where by this present study can also be added to as we now suppose from the present conclusions of our experiments.
Acidic zeolites like H-Y, H-ZSM-5, H-MCM-22 and H-MOR zeolites were found to be the selective adsorbents for the removal of thiophene from toluene or n-heptane as solvent. The competitive adsorption of toluene is found to influence the adsorption capacity for thiophene and is more predominant when high-alumina zeolites are used as adsorbents. This behaviour is also reflected by the results of the adsorption of thiophene on H-ZSM-5 zeolites with varied nSi/nAl ratios (viz. 13, 19 and 36) from toluene and n-heptane as solvents, respectively. UV-Vis spectroscopic results show that the oligomerization of thiophene leads to the formation of dimers and trimers on these zeolites. The oligomerization in acid zeolites is regarded to be dependent on the geometry of the pore system of the zeolites. The sulphur-containing compounds with more than one ring viz. benzothiophene, which are also present in substantial amounts in certain hydrocarbon fractions, are not adsorbed on H-ZSM-5 zeolites. This is obvious, as the diameter of the pore aperture of zeolite H-ZSM-5 is smaller than the molecular size of benzothiophene. Metal ion-exchanged FAU-type zeolites are found to be promising adsorbents for the removal of sulphur-containing compounds from model solutions. The introduction of Cu+-, Ni2+-, Ce3+-, La3+- and Y3+- ions into zeolite Na+-Y by aqueous ion-exchange substantially improves the adsorption capacity for thiophene from toluene or n-heptane as solvent. More than the absolute content of Cu+-ions, the presence of Cu+-ions at the sites exposed to supercages is believed to influence the adsorption of thiophene on Cu+-Y zeolite. It was shown experimentally for the case of Cu+-Y and Ce3+-Y that the supercages present in the FAU zeolite allow for an access of bulkier sulphur-containing compounds (viz. benzothiophene, dibenzothiophene and dimethyl dibenzothiophene). The presence of these bulkier compounds compete with thiophene and are preferentially adsorbed on Cu+-Y zeolite. IR spectroscopic results revealed that the adsorption of thiophene on Na+-Y, Cu+-Y and Ni2+-Y is primarily a result of the interaction of thiophene via pi-complexation between C=C double bond (of thiophene) and metal ions (in the zeolite framework). A different mode of interaction of thiophene with Ce3+-, La3+- and Y3+-metal ions was observed in the IR spectra of thiophene adsorbed on Ce3+-Y, La3+-Y and Y3+-Y zeolites, respectively. On these adsorbents, thiophene is believed to interact via a lone electron pair of the sulphur atom with metal ions present in the adsorbent (M-S interaction). The experimental results show that there is a large difference in the thiophene adsorption capacities of pi-complexation adsorbents (like Cu+-Y, Ni2+-Y) between the model solution with toluene as solvent and the model solution with n-heptane as solvent. The lower capacity of these zeolites for the adsorption of thiophene from toluene than from n-heptane as solvent is the clear indication of competition of toluene in interating with adsorbent in a way similar to thiophene. The difference in thiophene adsorption capacities is very low in the case of adsorbents Ce3+-Y, La3+-Y and Y3+-Y, which are believed to interact with thiophene predominantly by direct M3+-S bond (thiophene interacting with metal ion via a lone pair of electrons). TG-DTA analysis was used to study the regeneration behaviour of the adsorbents. Acid zeolites can be regenerated by simply heating at 400 °C in a flow of nitrogen whereas thiophene is chemically adsorbed on the metal ion. By contrast, it is not possible to regenerate by heating under idle inert gas flow. The only way to regenerate these adsorbents is to burn off the adsorbate, which eventually brings about an undesired emission of SOx. The exothermic peaks appeared at different temperatures in the heat flow profiles of Cu+-Y, Ce3+-Y, La3+-Y and Y3+-Y are also indicating that two different types of interaction are present as revealed by IR spectroscopy, too. One major difficulty in reducing the sulphur content in fuels to value below 10 ppm is the inability in removing alkyl dibenzothiophenes, viz. 4,6 dimethyl dibenzothiophene, by the existing catalytic hydrodesulphurization technique. Cu+-Y and Ce3+-Y were found in the present study to adsorb this compound from toluene to a certain extent. To meet the stringent regulations on sulphur content, selective adsorption by zeolites could be a valuable post-purification method after the catalytic hydrodesulphurization unit.
Within this thesis a series of molecular species has been studied, with focus on hydrogen bonded species and on (solvated) transition metal complexes. Experimental techniques such as FT-ICR-MS and IRMPD were combined with ab initio calculations for the determination of structure and reactivity of the aforementioned types of systems. On the basis of high level electronic structure calculations of neutral water clusters (H2O)n with n = 17-21 a transitional size regime has been determined, where a structural stabilization between all-surface and interior configurations alternates with the addition or removal of a single water molecule. Electronic structure calculations suggested that for n = 17 and 19 the interior configuration would be energetically more stable than the all-surface one. The gas phase infrared spectrum of the singly hydrated ammonium ion, NH4+(H2O), had previously been recorded by photodissociation spectroscopy of mass selected ions and interpreted by means of ab initio calculations. The present work provides additional information on the shape of the potential energy curves of NH4+(H2O) along the N-H distance on MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ level of theory yielding an anharmonic potential shape. Calculation of potential energy curves of the O-H mode of the intramolecular hydrogen bond of various dicarboxylic acids (oxalic to adipic acid) revealed that the shapes of the potentials directly correlate to the size of the system and the resulting ring strain The shape of the potential is also influenced by the charge of the system. Calculation of anharmonic frequencies based on the VPT2 approach lead to reasonable results in all systems with narrow potentials. IRMPD spectra of complexes in the gas phase have been recorded for a series of cationic vanadium oxide complexes when reacted with acetonitrile, methanol and ethanol. The experimental spectra are compared to calculated absorption spectra. The systematic DFT study identifies potential candidates for reductive nitrile coupling in cationic transition metal acetonitrile complexes. On the basis of the calculations, the formation of metallacyclic structures in group 3 through 7 complexes can be ruled out. Solvation of the transition metal cation by five acetonitrile ligands leads to a reductive nitrile coupling reaction in three types of complexes, namely those containing either niobium, tantalum or tungsten.