A Semisynthetic Metalloenzyme based on a Protein Cavity that Catalyzes the Enantioselective Hydrolysis of Ester and Amide Substrates
In an effort to prepare selective and efficient catalysts for ester and amide hydrolysis, we are designing systems that position a coordinated metal ion within a defined protein cavity. Here, the preparation of a protein-1,10-phenanthroline conjugate and the hydrolytic chemistry catalyzed by this construct are described. Iodoacetamido-1,10-phenanthroline was used to modify a unique cysteine residue in ALBP (adipocyte lipid binding protein) to produce the conjugate ALBP-Phen. The resulting material was characterized by electrospray mass spectrometry, UV/vis and fluorescence spectroscopy, gel filtration chromatography, and thiol titration. The stability of ALBP-Phen was evaluated by guanidine hydrochloride denaturation experiments, and the ability of the conjugate to bind Cu(II) was demonstrated by fluorescence spectroscopy. ALBP-Phen-Cu(II) catalyzes the enantioselective hydrolysis of several unactivated amino acid esters under mild conditions (pH 6.1, 25 °C) at rates 32−280-fold above the background rate in buffered aqueous solution. In 24 h incubations 0.70 to 7.6 turnovers were observed with enantiomeric excesses ranging from 31% ee to 86% ee. ALBP-Phen-Cu(II) also promotes the hydrolysis of an aryl amide substrate under more vigorous conditions (pH 6.1, 37 °C) at a rate 1.6 × 104-fold above the background rate. The kinetics of this amide hydrolysis reaction fit the Michaelis−Menten relationship characteristic of enzymatic processes. The rate enhancements for ester and amide hydrolysis reported here are 102−103 lower than those observed for free Cu(II) but comparable to those previously reported for Cu(II) complexes.