Isolation and selected properties of a 10.4 kda gold:glutathione cluster compound

T. Gregory Schaaff, Grady Knight, Marat N. Shafigullin, Raymond F. Borkman, Robert L. Whetten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


An unprecedented small thioaurite cluster compound (with metallic Au core) has been isolated in high yield by decomposition of polymeric Au(I)SG compounds, where GSH is the ubiquitous tripeptide glutathione, W-y-glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine. The Au:SG clusters appear to share the high stability and robustness of their hydrophobic-alkyl analogues but are highly water soluble. The most abundant cluster produced by these methods can be easily separated from its homologues by gel electrophoresis. Its total molecular weight is ca. 10.4 kDa, and the mass of its strongly bound inorganic core is 5.6 kDa, suggesting the composition Au28(SG)i6. This composition is also consistent with the X-ray diffraction pattern of the crystalline molecular solid. Distinct features in the optical absorption spectroscopy are inherently different from either larger clusters or smaller gold cluster compounds. The compound is optically active, as evidenced by circular dichroism in the near-IR, visible, and near-UV regions. The 13C NMR spectra suggest that the bonding environment of the GS-adsorbate is similar to that of the n-alkyl-adsorbate clusters, and the nonsulfhydryl properties are retained. The cluster is thus envisioned as a large metallic-cluster compound with distinctive optical properties encapsulated by a bioactive peptide monolayer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10645-10646
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number52
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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