Biocompatibility and Therapeutic Potential of Glycosylated Albumin Artificial Metalloenzymes
Nat. Catal. 2019, 2, 780-792, 10.1038/s41929-019-0317-4
The ability of natural metalloproteins to prevent inactivation of their metal cofactors by biological metabolites, such as glutathione, is an area that has been largely ignored in the field of artificial metalloenzyme (ArM) development. Yet, for ArM research to transition into future therapeutic applications, biocompatibility remains a crucial component. The work presented here shows the creation of a human serum albumin-based ArM that can robustly protect the catalytic activity of a bound ruthenium metal, even in the presence of 20 mM glutathione under in vitro conditions. To exploit this biocompatibility, the concept of glycosylated artificial metalloenzymes (GArM) was developed, which is based on functionalizing ArMs with N-glycan targeting moieties. As a potential drug therapy, this study shows that ruthenium-bound GArM complexes could preferentially accumulate to varying cancer cell lines via glycan-based targeting for prodrug activation of the anticancer agent umbelliprenin using ring-closing metathesis.
Metal: RuLigand type: Hoveyda–GrubbsHost protein: Human serum albumin (HSA)Anchoring strategy: SupramolecularOptimization: ChemicalReaction: Ring closing metathesisMax TON: 29.9ee: ---PDB: ---Notes: ---
Capture and Characterization of a Reactive Haem– Carbenoid Complex in an Artificial Metalloenzyme
Nat. Catal. 2018, 1, 578-584, 10.1038/s41929-018-0105-6
Non-canonical amino acid ligands are useful for fine-tuning the catalytic properties of metalloenzymes. Here, we show that recombinant replacement of the histidine ligand proximal to haem in myoglobin with Nδ-methylhistidine enhances the protein’s promiscuous carbene-transfer chemistry, enabling efficient styrene cyclopropanation in the absence of reductant, even under aerobic conditions. The increased electrophilicity of the modified Fe(iii) centre, combined with subtle structural adjustments at the active site, allows direct attack of ethyl diazoacetate to produce a reactive carbenoid adduct, which has an unusual bridging Fe(iii)–C–N(pyrrole) configuration as shown by X-ray crystallography. Quantum chemical calculations suggest that the bridged complex equilibrates with the more reactive end-on isomer, ensuring efficient cyclopropanation. These findings underscore the potential of non-canonical ligands for extending the capabilities of metalloenzymes by opening up new reaction pathways and facilitating the characterization of reactive species that would not otherwise accumulate.
Metal: FeLigand type: Nδ-methylhistidine; PorphyrinHost protein: Myoglobin (Mb)Anchoring strategy: ---Reaction: CyclopropanationMax TON: 1000ee: 99PDB: 6F17Notes: Structure of the Mb*(NMH) haem-iron complex
Metal: FeLigand type: Nδ-methylhistidine; PorphyrinHost protein: Myoglobin (Mb)Anchoring strategy: ---Reaction: CyclopropanationMax TON: 1000ee: 99PDB: 6G5BNotes: Structure of the Mb*(NMH) haem-iron–carbenoid complex
Engineering and Emerging Applications of Artificial Metalloenzymes with Whole CellsReview
Nat. Catal. 2021, 4, 814-827, 10.1038/s41929-021-00673-3
The field of artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) is rapidly growing and ArMs are attracting increasing attention, for example, in the fields of biosensing and drug therapy. Protein-engineering methods that are commonly used to tailor the properties of natural enzymes are more frequently included in the design of ArMs. In particular, directed evolution allows the fine-tuning of ArMs, ultimately assisting in the development of their enormous potential. The integration of ArMs in whole cells enables their in vivo application and facilitates high-throughput directed-evolution methodologies. In this Review, we highlight the recent progress of whole-cell conversions and applications of ArMs and critically discuss their limitations and prospects. To focus on ArMs and their specific properties, advantages and challenges, the evolution of natural enzymes for non-natural reactions will not be covered.
Redox-Switchable Siderophore Anchor Enables Reversible Artificial Metalloenzyme Assembly
Nat. Catal. 2018, 1, 680-688, 10.1038/s41929-018-0124-3
Artificial metalloenzymes that contain protein-anchored synthetic catalysts are attracting increasing interest. An exciting, but still unrealized advantage of non-covalent anchoring is its potential for reversibility and thus component recycling. Here we present a siderophore–protein combination that enables strong but redox-reversible catalyst anchoring, as exemplified by an artificial transfer hydrogenase (ATHase). By linking the iron(iii)-binding siderophore azotochelin to an iridium-containing imine-reduction catalyst that produces racemic product in the absence of the protein CeuE, but a reproducible enantiomeric excess if protein bound, the assembly and reductively triggered disassembly of the ATHase was achieved. The crystal structure of the ATHase identified the residues involved in high-affinity binding and enantioselectivity. While in the presence of iron(iii), the azotochelin-based anchor binds CeuE with high affinity, and the reduction of the coordinated iron(iii) to iron(ii) triggers its dissociation from the protein. Thus, the assembly of the artificial enzyme can be controlled via the iron oxidation state.
Metal: IrLigand type: Cp*; Pyridine sulfonamideHost protein: CeuEAnchoring strategy: SupramolecularOptimization: Chemical & geneticReaction: Transfer hydrogenationMax TON: ---ee: 35.4PDB: 5OD5Notes: Redox switchable iron(III)-azotochelin anchor
Synergistic Catalysis in an Artificial Enzyme by Simultaneous Action of Two Abiological Catalytic Sites
Nat. Catal. 2020, 3, 289-294, 10.1038/s41929-019-0420-6
Artificial enzymes, which are hybrids of proteins with abiological catalytic groups, have emerged as a powerful approach towards the creation of enzymes for new-to-nature reactions. Typically, only a single abiological catalytic moiety is incorporated. Here we introduce a design of an artificial enzyme that comprises two different abiological catalytic moieties and show that these can act synergistically to achieve high activity and enantioselectivity (up to >99% e.e.) in the catalysed Michael addition reaction. The design is based on the lactococcal multidrug resistance regulator as the protein scaffold and combines a genetically encoded unnatural p-aminophenylalanine residue (which activates an enal through iminium ion formation) and a supramolecularly bound Lewis acidic Cu(ii) complex (which activates the Michael donor by enolization and delivers it to one preferred prochiral face of the activated enal). This study demonstrates that synergistic combination of abiological catalytic groups is a robust way to achieve catalysis that is normally outside of the realm of artificial enzymes.
Metal: CuLigand type: Amino acidHost protein: Lactoccal multidrug resistant regulator (LmrR)Anchoring strategy: Covalent; SupramolecularReaction: Michael additionMax TON: ---ee: >99PDB: ---Notes: 6:1 d.r