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Thomas WARD

University of Basel, Switzerland

Artificial Metalloenzymes: Challenges and Opportunities


In stark contrast to enzymes, predictably exploiting second coordination sphere interactions remains challenging in homogeneous catalysis. To overcome this challenge, artificial metalloenzymes offer an attractive means to engineer proteins as host for coordination complexes. In this context, the biotin-streptavidin technology has proven versatile in the past decade.

Such artificial metalloenzymes can be improved either by chemical (varying the spacer between the biotin and the metal moiety) or genetic- (mutation of (strept)avidin) means. These chemogenetic schemes were applied to optimize the performance for eight different catalyzed transformations as well as reaction cascades in the presence of natural enzymes.

This talk will summarize our efforts to complement both homogenous and enzymatic catalysis with artificial metalloenzymes. Particular emphasis will be set on controlling second coordination sphere interactions to improve catalytic performance in vivo.