Synthesis, spectroscopic, and structural characterization of the first aqueous cobalt(II)-citrate complex: Toward a potentially bioavailable form of cobalt in biologically relevant fluids

M. Matzapetakis, M. Dakanali, C. P. Raptopoulou, V. Tangoulis, A. Terzis, N. Moon, J. Giapintzakis, A. Salifoglou

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Citric acid represents a class of carboxylic acids present in biological fluids and playing key roles in biochemical processes in bacteria and humans. Its ability to promote diverse coordination chemistries in aqueous media, in the presence of metal ions known to act as trace elements in human metabolism, earmarks its involvement in a number of physiological functions. Cobalt is known to be a central element of metabolically important biomolecules, such as B12, and therefore its biospeciation in biological fluids constitutes a theme worthy of chemical and biological perusal. In an effort to unravel the aqueous chemistry of cobalt in the presence of a physiologically relevant ligand, citrate, the first aqueous, soluble, mononuclear complex has been synthesized and isolated from reaction mixtures containing Co(II) and citrate in a 1:2 molar ratio at pH ~ 8. The crystalline compound (NH4)4[Co(C6H5O7)2] (1) has been characterized spectroscopically (UV/vis, EPR) and crystallographically. Its X-ray structure consists of a distorted octahedral anion with two citrate ligands fulfilling the coordination requirements of the Co(II) ion. The magnetic susceptibility measurements of 1 in the range from 6 to 295 K are consistent with a high-spin complex containing Co(II) with a ground state S=3/2. Corroborating this result is the EPR spectrum of 1, which shows a signal consistent with the presence of a Co(II) system. The spectroscopic and structural properties of the complex signify its potential biological relevance and participation in speciation patterns arising under conditions consistent with those employed for its synthesis and isolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-474
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Bioavailability
  • Cobalt-citrate complex
  • Electron paramagnetic resonance
  • Speciation
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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