Environmental Chemistry of Plutonium
Researchers in Chemistry Division
are studying the interactions of actinides with microorganisms both to
understand the environmental behavior of U, Np, and Pu and to provide
fundamental research that can be used to develop bioremediation technologies
for these radionuclides.
The research has been very
successful, and has recently received international attention from such
journals as Angewandte Chemie and ES&T. Please read
the articles below to find out more about this exciting new science.
feasibility study: molecular modeling was used to simulate docking of
Pu(IV)-DFOE complex into the periplasmic hydroxamate-sideriophore binding
protein from E. coli (FhuD) to see if Pu(IV)-DFOE could fit into the binding
pocket used by Fe(III)-DFOE. The binding pocket is shown as a translucent
surface, while the remaining parts of the FhuD are shown in secondary
structural motifs. Pu(IV)-DFE is on the left, and Fe(III)-DFE is on the
in the News
Interactions with Microbial Chelators: How Desferrioxamine Siderophores
Affect Plutonium Chemistry and Facilitate Microbial Uptake,"
M.P. Neu, Los Alamos Science, 26(2), 2000, 416-417
of Pu with Desferrioxamine Siderophores Can Affect Bioavailability and
Mobility," C. E. Ruggiero, M . P. Neu, J. H. Matonic, S. D.
Reilly, published in 2nd/3rd Quarter, 2000 ARQ
show promise for bioremediating plutonium," Science News in
ES&T, Science News (Online--view through publisher's web site)-
June 8, 2001.
on the Move" SCIENCE, Editors' Choice: Highlights of the recent
literature, Volume 288, Number 5466, Issue of
28 April 2000.
"The First Structural
Characterization of Plutonium(IV) Complexed by a Siderophore: Single
Crystal Structure of Pu Desferrioxamine E," M.P. Neu, J.H. Matonic,
C.E. Ruggiero, B.L. Scott, Angew. Chemie. Int. Ed. 2000, 39(8), 1442-1444.
Mediated Plutonium Accumulation by Microbacterium flavescens (JG-9),"
Seth G. John, Christy E. Ruggiero, Larry E. Hersman, Chang-Shung Tung,
and Mary P. Neu* Environ. Sci. Technol., 35(14), 2942-2948. (article
must be purchased from publisher).
Previous research highlights
(iron-binding molecules produced by plants and microorganisms) can transform
plutonium from different solution and solid-state forms to a soluble plutonium-siderophore
complex, such as the [Pu(IV) (Desferrioxamine E)(H2O)3]+ shown here.
.Another view of
structure of Pu(IV)-DFE docked into FhuD from E. coli. These models of
the docking support the hypothesis that Pu-siderophores can occupy the
same binding pocket as iron siderophores, such as Fe(III)-DFOB, despite
having some coordination differences.
Dr. Mary P. Neu