Abiotic reduction of ketones with silanes catalysed by carbonic anhydrase through an enzymatic zinc hydride
Nat. Chem. 2021, 13, 312-318, 10.1038/s41557-020-00633-7
Enzymatic reactions through mononuclear metal hydrides are unknown in nature, despite the prevalence of such intermediates in the reactions of synthetic transition-metal catalysts. If metalloenzymes could react through abiotic intermediates like these, then the scope of enzyme-catalysed reactions would expand. Here we show that zinc-containing carbonic anhydrase enzymes catalyse hydride transfers from silanes to ketones with high enantioselectivity. We report mechanistic data providing strong evidence that the process involves a mononuclear zinc hydride. This work shows that abiotic silanes can act as reducing equivalents in an enzyme-catalysed process and that monomeric hydrides of electropositive metals, which are typically unstable in protic environments, can be catalytic intermediates in enzymatic processes. Overall, this work bridges a gap between the types of transformation in molecular catalysis and biocatalysis.
Metal: ZnLigand type: Histidine residuesHost protein: Human carbonic anhydrase II (hCAII)Anchoring strategy: NativeOptimization: ChemicalReaction: Transfer hydrogenationMax TON: 500ee: >99PDB: ---Notes: ---
A Clamp-Like Biohybrid Catalyst for DNA Oxidation
Nat. Chem. 2013, 5, 945-951, 10.1038/NCHEM.1752
In processive catalysis, a catalyst binds to a substrate and remains bound as it performs several consecutive reactions, as exemplified by DNA polymerases. Processivity is essential in nature and is often mediated by a clamp-like structure that physically tethers the catalyst to its (polymeric) template. In the case of the bacteriophage T4 replisome, a dedicated clamp protein acts as a processivity mediator by encircling DNA and subsequently recruiting its polymerase. Here we use this DNA-binding protein to construct a biohybrid catalyst. Conjugation of the clamp protein to a chemical catalyst with sequence-specific oxidation behaviour formed a catalytic clamp that can be loaded onto a DNA plasmid. The catalytic activity of the biohybrid catalyst was visualized using a procedure based on an atomic force microscopy method that detects and spatially locates oxidized sites in DNA. Varying the experimental conditions enabled switching between processive and distributive catalysis and influencing the sliding direction of this rotaxane-like catalyst.
Alteration of the Oxygen-Dependent Reactivity of De Novo Due Ferri Proteins
Nat. Chem. 2012, 4, 900-906, 10.1038/NCHEM.1454
De novo proteins provide a unique opportunity to investigate the structure–function relationships of metalloproteins in a minimal, well-defined and controlled scaffold. Here, we describe the rational programming of function in a de novo designed di-iron carboxylate protein from the Due Ferri family. Originally created to catalyse the O2-dependent, two-electron oxidation of hydroquinones, the protein was reprogrammed to catalyse the selective N-hydroxylation of arylamines by remodelling the substrate access cavity and introducing a critical third His ligand to the metal-binding cavity. Additional second- and third-shell modifications were required to stabilize the His ligand in the core of the protein. These structural changes resulted in at least a 106-fold increase in the relative rate between the arylamine N-hydroxylation and hydroquinone oxidation reactions. This result highlights the potential for using de novo proteins as scaffolds for future investigations of the geometric and electronic factors that influence the catalytic tuning of di-iron active sites.
Metal: FeHost protein: Due FerriReaction: N-HydroxylationMax TON: ---ee: ---PDB: 2LFDNotes: ---
Efficient Lewis Acid Catalysis of an Abiological Reaction in a De Novo Protein Scaffold
Nat. Chem. 2021, 13, 231-235, 10.1038/s41557-020-00628-4
New enzyme catalysts are usually engineered by repurposing the active sites of natural proteins. Here we show that design and directed evolution can be used to transform a non-natural, functionally naive zinc-binding protein into a highly active catalyst for an abiological hetero-Diels–Alder reaction. The artificial metalloenzyme achieves >104 turnovers per active site, exerts absolute control over reaction pathway and product stereochemistry, and displays a catalytic proficiency (1/KTS = 2.9 × 1010 M−1) that exceeds all previously characterized Diels–Alderases. These properties capitalize on effective Lewis acid catalysis, a chemical strategy for accelerating Diels–Alder reactions common in the laboratory but so far unknown in nature. Extension of this approach to other metal ions and other de novo scaffolds may propel the design field in exciting new directions.
Metal: ZnHost protein: De novo-designed proteinReaction: Diels-Alder reactionMax TON: >10000ee: 99PDB: ---Notes: PDB: 3V1C, 7BWW
Evolving Artificial Metalloenzymes via Random Mutagenesis
Nat. Chem. 2018, 10, 318-324, 10.1038/nchem.2927
Random mutagenesis has the potential to optimize the efficiency and selectivity of protein catalysts without requiring detailed knowledge of protein structure; however, introducing synthetic metal cofactors complicates the expression and screening of enzyme libraries, and activity arising from free cofactor must be eliminated. Here we report an efficient platform to create and screen libraries of artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) via random mutagenesis, which we use to evolve highly selective dirhodium cyclopropanases. Error-prone PCR and combinatorial codon mutagenesis enabled multiplexed analysis of random mutations, including at sites distal to the putative ArM active site that are difficult to identify using targeted mutagenesis approaches. Variants that exhibited significantly improved selectivity for each of the cyclopropane product enantiomers were identified, and higher activity than previously reported ArM cyclopropanases obtained via targeted mutagenesis was also observed. This improved selectivity carried over to other dirhodium-catalysed transformations, including N–H, S–H and Si–H insertion, demonstrating that ArMs evolved for one reaction can serve as starting points to evolve catalysts for others.
Reaction: CyclopropanationMax TON: 66ee: 94Notes: Mutagenesis of the ArM by error-prone PCR
Reaction: N-H InsertionMax TON: 73ee: 40Notes: Mutagenesis of the ArM by error-prone PCR
Reaction: S-H insertionMax TON: 64ee: 32Notes: Mutagenesis of the ArM by error-prone PCR
Reaction: Si-H insertionMax TON: 35ee: 64Notes: Mutagenesis of the ArM by error-prone PCR
Heteromeric Three-Stranded Coiled Coils Designed Using a Pb(ii)(Cys)3 Template Mediated Strategy
Nat. Chem. 2020, 12, 405-411, 10.1038/s41557-020-0423-6
Three-stranded coiled coils are peptide structures constructed from amphipathic heptad repeats. Here we show that it is possible to form pure heterotrimeric three-stranded coiled coils by combining three distinct characteristics: (1) a cysteine sulfur layer for metal coordination, (2) a thiophilic, trigonal pyramidal metalloid (Pb(ii)) that binds to these sulfurs and (3) an adjacent layer of reduced steric bulk generating a cavity where water can hydrogen bond to the cysteine sulfur atoms. Cysteine substitution in an a site yields Pb(ii)A2B heterotrimers, while d sites provide pure Pb(ii)C2D or Pb(ii)CD2 scaffolds. Altering the metal from Pb(ii) to Hg(ii) or shifting the relative position of the sterically less demanding layer removes heterotrimer specificity. Because only two of the eight or ten hydrophobic layers are perturbed, catalytic sites can be introduced at other regions of the scaffold. A Zn(ii)(histidine)3(H2O) centre can be incorporated at a remote location without perturbing the heterotrimer selectivity, suggesting a unique strategy to prepare dissymmetric catalytic sites within self-assembling de novo-designed proteins.
Host protein: De novo-designed proteinAnchoring strategy: ---Optimization: ---Reaction: Ester hydrolysisMax TON: ---ee: ---PDB: ---Notes: PDB: 6EGP, 6MCD
Hydrolytic Catalysis and Structural Stabilization in a Designed Metalloprotein
Nat. Chem. 2012, 4, 118-123, 10.1038/NCHEM.1201
Metal ions are an important part of many natural proteins, providing structural, catalytic and electron transfer functions. Reproducing these functions in a designed protein is the ultimate challenge to our understanding of them. Here, we present an artificial metallohydrolase, which has been shown by X-ray crystallography to contain two different metal ions—a Zn(II) ion, which is important for catalytic activity, and a Hg(II) ion, which provides structural stability. This metallohydrolase displays catalytic activity that compares well with several characteristic reactions of natural enzymes. It catalyses p-nitrophenyl acetate (pNPA) hydrolysis with an efficiency only ~100-fold less than that of human carbonic anhydrase (CA)II and at least 550-fold better than comparable synthetic complexes. Similarly, CO2 hydration occurs with an efficiency within ~500-fold of CAII. Although histidine residues in the absence of Zn(II) exhibit pNPA hydrolysis, miniscule apopeptide activity is observed for CO2 hydration. The kinetic and structural analysis of this first de novo designed hydrolytic metalloenzyme reveals necessary design features for future metalloenzymes containing one or more metals.
Host protein: TRI peptideReaction: Hydrolytic cleavageMax TON: >10ee: ---PDB: 3PBJNotes: Zn ion for catalytic activity, Hg ion for structural stability of the ArM. PDB ID 3PBJ = Structure of an analogue.
Host protein: TRI peptideReaction: Hydration of C=C and C=O double bondsMax TON: ---ee: ---PDB: 3PBJNotes: Zn ion for catalytic activity, Hg ion for structural stability of the ArM, kcat/KM ≈ 1.8*105 M-1*s-1. PDB ID 3PBJ = Structure of an analogue.
Reconstitution of [Fe]-Hydrogenase Using Model Complexes
Nat. Chem. 2015, 7, 995-1002, 10.1038/Nchem.2382
[Fe]-Hydrogenase catalyses the reversible hydrogenation of a methenyltetrahydromethanopterin substrate, which is an intermediate step during the methanogenesis from CO2 and H2. The active site contains an iron-guanylylpyridinol cofactor, in which Fe2+ is coordinated by two CO ligands, as well as an acyl carbon atom and a pyridinyl nitrogen atom from a 3,4,5,6-substituted 2-pyridinol ligand. However, the mechanism of H2 activation by [Fe]-hydrogenase is unclear. Here we report the reconstitution of [Fe]-hydrogenase from an apoenzyme using two FeGP cofactor mimics to create semisynthetic enzymes. The small-molecule mimics reproduce the ligand environment of the active site, but are inactive towards H2 binding and activation on their own. We show that reconstituting the enzyme using a mimic that contains a 2-hydroxypyridine group restores activity, whereas an analogous enzyme with a 2-methoxypyridine complex was essentially inactive. These findings, together with density functional theory computations, support a mechanism in which the 2-hydroxy group is deprotonated before it serves as an internal base for heterolytic H2 cleavage.
Metal: FeHost protein: Apo-[Fe]-hydrogenase from M. jannaschiiOptimization: ChemicalReaction: Hydrogenation / H2 evolutionMax TON: ---ee: ---PDB: ---Notes: DFT calculations of the reaction mechanism.
Synthetic Cascades are Enabled by Combining Biocatalysts with Artificial Metalloenzymes
Nat. Chem. 2013, 5, 93-99, 10.1038/NCHEM.1498
Enzymatic catalysis and homogeneous catalysis offer complementary means to address synthetic challenges, both in chemistry and in biology. Despite its attractiveness, the implementation of concurrent cascade reactions that combine an organometallic catalyst with an enzyme has proven challenging because of the mutual inactivation of both catalysts. To address this, we show that incorporation of a d6-piano stool complex within a host protein affords an artificial transfer hydrogenase (ATHase) that is fully compatible with and complementary to natural enzymes, thus enabling efficient concurrent tandem catalysis. To illustrate the generality of the approach, the ATHase was combined with various NADH-, FAD- and haem-dependent enzymes, resulting in orthogonal redox cascades. Up to three enzymes were integrated in the cascade and combined with the ATHase with a view to achieving (i) a double stereoselective amine deracemization, (ii) a horseradish peroxidase-coupled readout of the transfer hydrogenase activity towards its genetic optimization, (iii) the formation of L-pipecolic acid from L-lysine and (iv) regeneration of NADH to promote a monooxygenase-catalysed oxyfunctionalization reaction.
Metal: IrLigand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)Anchoring strategy: SupramolecularReaction: Transfer hydrogenationMax TON: 100ee: > 99PDB: ---Notes: Cascade
Unnatural Biosynthesis by an Engineered Microorganism with Heterologously Expressed Natural Enzymes and an Artificial Metalloenzyme
Nat. Chem. 2021, 13, 1186-1191, 10.1038/s41557-021-00801-3
Synthetic biology enables microbial hosts to produce complex molecules from organisms that are rare or difficult to cultivate, but the structures of these molecules are limited to those formed by reactions of natural enzymes. The integration of artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) that catalyse unnatural reactions into metabolic networks could broaden the cache of molecules produced biosynthetically. Here we report an engineered microbial cell expressing a heterologous biosynthetic pathway, containing both natural enzymes and ArMs, that produces an unnatural product with high diastereoselectivity. We engineered Escherichia coli with a heterologous terpene biosynthetic pathway and an ArM containing an iridium–porphyrin complex that was transported into the cell with a heterologous transport system. We improved the diastereoselectivity and product titre of the unnatural product by evolving the ArM and selecting the appropriate gene induction and cultivation conditions. This work shows that synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry can produce, by combining natural and artificial enzymes in whole cells, molecules that were previously inaccessible to nature.
Metal: IrHost protein: CYP119Anchoring strategy: Metal substitutionReaction: CyclopropanationMax TON: 2130ee: ---PDB: ---Notes: TON in vivo of (-)-carvone, WITHOUT limonene biosynthetic genes