Synthetic Chemistry with Metalloenzymes

Friday, November 15, 2019

Wesley Harrison

Department of Chemistry

College of Arts & Sciences

Recently, metalloenzymes have been demonstrated to be capable of performing synthetic catalysis beyond the scope of reactions performed in biological systems. Not only have enzymes been proven to be capable of catalysis thought to be dominated by Lewis acid transition metal complexes, catalysis with enzymes adapted with directed evolution has been shown to be capable of outperforming transition metal complex counterparts in catalytic activity and selectivity. The technique of directed evolution of enzymes employs the diversification of enzymatic DNA allowing for modulation of enzyme catalytic properties such as activity, thermostability, enantioselectivity, and chemoselectivity. The increased catalytic activity and efficiency of enzymes as well as the capability of enzymes to perform synthetic chemistry in water provides environmentally sustainable incentives to further investigate and expand catalytic repertoire of catalysis with metalloenzymes. Herein, a brief review and demonstration of technique of directed evolution will be presented. Furthermore, the expansion of Lewis acid adducts to metalloenzymes and potential for modulation with directed evolution will be briefly discussed.

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