Letter | Published:

Rotatory Dispersion of Cytochrome c


THE iron atom in hæm compounds has its six covalences directed toward the six corners of an octahedron; there are four co-planar bonds with the porphyrin nitrogen atoms and one bond on each side of the plane of the porphyrin. The only possible plane of symmetry in such molecules is the plane of the porphyrin; the iron must constitute a centre of asymmetry if one of two requirements is satisfied: (1) different groups are linked to iron on the two sides of the porphyrin plane or (2) groups co-ordinated to iron are also attached to porphyrin side-chains, thus forming chelate rings.

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