39 publications

39 publications

8-Amino-5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinoline in Iridium(III) Biotinylated Cp* Complex as Artificial Imine Reductase

Rimoldi, I.

New J. Chem. 2018, 42, 18773-18776, 10.1039/C8NJ04558E

The imine reductase formed by the (R)-CAMPY ligand bound to the S112M Sav mutant showed an 83% ee in the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of 6,7-dimethoxy-1-methyl-3,4-dihydroisoquinoline.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 32
ee: 83
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 99
ee: 13
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Abiological Catalysis by Artificial Haem Proteins Containing Noble Metals in Place of Iron

Hartwig, J.F.

Nature 2016, 534, 534-537, 10.1038/nature17968

Enzymes that contain metal ions—that is, metalloenzymes—possess the reactivity of a transition metal centre and the potential of molecular evolution to modulate the reactivity and substrate-selectivity of the system1. By exploiting substrate promiscuity and protein engineering, the scope of reactions catalysed by native metalloenzymes has been expanded recently to include abiological transformations2,3. However, this strategy is limited by the inherent reactivity of metal centres in native metalloenzymes. To overcome this limitation, artificial metalloproteins have been created by incorporating complete, noble-metal complexes within proteins lacking native metal sites1,4,5. The interactions of the substrate with the protein in these systems are, however, distinct from those with the native protein because the metal complex occupies the substrate binding site. At the intersection of these approaches lies a third strategy, in which the native metal of a metalloenzyme is replaced with an abiological metal with reactivity different from that of the metal in a native protein6,7,8. This strategy could create artificial enzymes for abiological catalysis within the natural substrate binding site of an enzyme that can be subjected to directed evolution. Here we report the formal replacement of iron in Fe-porphyrin IX (Fe-PIX) proteins with abiological, noble metals to create enzymes that catalyse reactions not catalysed by native Fe-enzymes or other metalloenzymes9,10. In particular, we prepared modified myoglobins containing an Ir(Me) site that catalyse the functionalization of C–H bonds to form C–C bonds by carbene insertion and add carbenes to both β-substituted vinylarenes and unactivated aliphatic α-olefins. We conducted directed evolution of the Ir(Me)-myoglobin and generated mutants that form either enantiomer of the products of C–H insertion and catalyse the enantio- and diastereoselective cyclopropanation of unactivated olefins. The presented method of preparing artificial haem proteins containing abiological metal porphyrins sets the stage for the generation of artificial enzymes from innumerable combinations of PIX-protein scaffolds and unnatural metal cofactors to catalyse a wide range of abiological transformations.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Methyl; Porphyrin
Host protein: Myoglobin (Mb)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: C-H activation
Max TON: 7260
ee: 68
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Methyl; Porphyrin
Host protein: Myoglobin (Mb)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: C-H activation
Max TON: 92
ee: 84
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

A Dual Anchoring Strategy for the Localization and Activation of Artificial Metalloenzymes Based on the Biotin−Streptavidin Technology

Ward, T.R.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 5384-5388, 10.1021/ja309974s

Artificial metalloenzymes result from anchoring an active catalyst within a protein environment. Toward this goal, various localization strategies have been pursued: covalent, supramolecular, or dative anchoring. Herein we show that introduction of a suitably positioned histidine residue contributes to firmly anchor, via a dative bond, a biotinylated rhodium piano stool complex within streptavidin. The in silico design of the artificial metalloenzyme was confirmed by X-ray crystallography. The resulting artificial metalloenzyme displays significantly improved catalytic performance, both in terms of activity and selectivity in the transfer hydrogenation of imines. Depending on the position of the histidine residue, both enantiomers of the salsolidine product can be obtained.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino acid; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 14
ee: 11
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Amino acid; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 100
ee: 79
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

An Artificial Imine Reductase Based on the Ribonuclease S Scaffold

Ward, T.R.

ChemCatChem 2014, 6, 736-740, 10.1002/cctc.201300995

Dative anchoring of a piano‐stool complex within ribonuclease S resulted in an artificial imine reductase. The catalytic performance was modulated upon variation of the coordinating amino acid residues in the S‐peptide. Binding of Cp*Ir (Cp*=C5Me5) to the native active site resulted in good conversions and moderate enantiomeric excess values for the synthesis of salsolidine.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino acid; Cp*
Host protein: Ribonuclease S
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 4
ee: 18
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

An Artificial Metalloenzyme with the Kinetics of Native Enzymes

Hartwig, J.F.

Science 2016, 354, 102-106, 10.1126/science.aah4427

Natural enzymes contain highly evolved active sites that lead to fast rates and high selectivities. Although artificial metalloenzymes have been developed that catalyze abiological transformations with high stereoselectivity, the activities of these artificial enzymes are much lower than those of natural enzymes. Here, we report a reconstituted artificial metalloenzyme containing an iridium porphyrin that exhibits kinetic parameters similar to those of natural enzymes. In particular, variants of the P450 enzyme CYP119 containing iridium in place of iron catalyze insertions of carbenes into C–H bonds with up to 98% enantiomeric excess, 35,000 turnovers, and 2550 hours−1 turnover frequency. This activity leads to intramolecular carbene insertions into unactivated C–H bonds and intermolecular carbene insertions into C–H bonds. These results lift the restrictions on merging chemical catalysis and biocatalysis to create highly active, productive, and selective metalloenzymes for abiological reactions.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Methyl; Porphyrin
Host protein: Cytochrome P450 (CYP119)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: C-H activation
Max TON: 582
ee: 98
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Methyl; Porphyrin
Host protein: Cytochrome P450 (CYP119)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: C-H activation
Max TON: 35129
ee: 91
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

An NAD(P)H-Dependent Artificial Transfer Hydrogenase for Multienzymatic Cascades

Ward, T.R.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 5781-5784, 10.1021/jacs.6b02470

Enzymes typically depend on either NAD(P)H or FADH2 as hydride source for reduction purposes. In contrast, organometallic catalysts most often rely on isopropanol or formate to generate the reactive hydride moiety. Here we show that incorporation of a Cp*Ir cofactor possessing a biotin moiety and 4,7-dihydroxy-1,10-phenanthroline into streptavidin yields an NAD(P)H-dependent artificial transfer hydrogenase (ATHase). This ATHase (0.1 mol%) catalyzes imine reduction with 1 mM NADPH (2 mol%), which can be concurrently regenerated by a glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) using only 1.2 equiv of glucose. A four-enzyme cascade consisting of the ATHase, the GDH, a monoamine oxidase, and a catalase leads to the production of enantiopure amines.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Phenanthroline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: >999
ee: >99
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Aqueous Oxidation of Alcohols Catalyzed by Artificial Metalloenzymes Based on the Biotin–Avidin Technology

Ward, T.R.

J. Organomet. Chem. 2005, 690, 4488-4491, 10.1016/j.jorganchem.2005.02.001

Based on the incorporation of biotinylated organometallic catalyst precursors within (strept)avidin, we have developed artificial metalloenzymes for the oxidation of secondary alcohols using tert-butylhydroperoxide as oxidizing agent. In the presence of avidin as host protein, the biotinylated aminosulfonamide ruthenium piano stool complex 1 (0.4 mol%) catalyzes the oxidation of sec-phenethyl alcohol at room temperature within 90 h in over 90% yield. Gel electrophoretic analysis of the reaction mixture suggests that the host protein is not oxidatively degraded during catalysis.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Benzene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: Alcohol oxidation
Max TON: 200
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Benzene
Host protein: Avidin (Av)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: Alcohol oxidation
Max TON: 230
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Bipyridine; C6Me6
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: Alcohol oxidation
Max TON: 173
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: Alcohol oxidation
Max TON: 7.5
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Bipyridine; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: Alcohol oxidation
Max TON: 30
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Artificial Metalloenzymes for the Diastereoselective Reduction of NAD+ to NAD2H

Ward, T.R.

Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 357-360, 10.1039/c4ob02071e

Stereoselectively labelled isotopomers of NAD(P)H are highly relevant for mechanistic studies of enzymes which utilize them as redox equivalents.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: ---
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Artificial Transfer Hydrogenases Based on the Biotin-(Strept)avidin Technology: Fine Tuning the Selectivity by Saturation Mutagenesis of the Host Protein

Ward, T.R.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 8320-8328, 10.1021/ja061580o

Incorporation of biotinylated racemic three-legged d6-piano stool complexes in streptavidin yields enantioselective transfer hydrogenation artificial metalloenzymes for the reduction of ketones. Having identified the most promising organometallic catalyst precursors in the presence of wild-type streptavidin, fine-tuning of the selectivity is achieved by saturation mutagenesis at position S112. This choice for the genetic optimization site is suggested by docking studies which reveal that this position lies closest to the biotinylated metal upon incorporation into streptavidin. For aromatic ketones, the reaction proceeds smoothly to afford the corresponding enantioenriched alcohols in up to 97% ee (R) or 70% (S). On the basis of these results, we suggest that the enantioselection is mostly dictated by CH/π interactions between the substrate and the η6-bound arene. However, these enantiodiscriminating interactions can be outweighed in the presence of cationic residues at position S112 to afford the opposite enantiomers of the product.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 96
ee: 80
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 73
ee: 60
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Benzene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 95
ee: 70
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; P-cymene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 79
ee: 97
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Artificial Transfer Hydrogenases for the Enantioselective Reduction of Cyclic Imines

Ward, T.R.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 3026-3029, 10.1002/anie.201007820

Man‐made activity: Introduction of a biotinylated iridium piano stool complex within streptavidin affords an artificial imine reductase (see scheme). Saturation mutagenesis allowed optimization of the activity and the enantioselectivity of this metalloenzyme, and its X‐ray structure suggests that a nearby lysine residue acts as a proton source during the transfer hydrogenation.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 4000
ee: 96
PDB: 3PK2
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 94
ee: 52
PDB: 3PK2
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; P-cymene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 97
ee: 22
PDB: 3PK2
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Benzene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 76
ee: 12
PDB: 3PK2
Notes: ---

Beyond Iron: Iridium-Containing P450 Enzymes for Selective Cyclopropanations of Structurally Diverse Alkenes

Hartwig, J.F.

ACS Cent. Sci. 2017, 3, 302-308, 10.1021/acscentsci.6b00391

Enzymes catalyze organic transformations with exquisite levels of selectivity, including chemoselectivity, stereoselectivity, and substrate selectivity, but the types of reactions catalyzed by enzymes are more limited than those of chemical catalysts. Thus, the convergence of chemical catalysis and biocatalysis can enable enzymatic systems to catalyze abiological reactions with high selectivity. Recently, we disclosed artificial enzymes constructed from the apo form of heme proteins and iridium porphyrins that catalyze the insertion of carbenes into a C–H bond. We postulated that the same type of Ir(Me)-PIX enzymes could catalyze the cyclopropanation of a broad range of alkenes with control of multiple modes of selectivity. Here, we report the evolution of artificial enzymes that are highly active and highly stereoselective for the addition of carbenes to a wide range of alkenes. These enzymes catalyze the cyclopropanation of terminal and internal, activated and unactivated, electron-rich and electron-deficient, conjugated and nonconjugated alkenes. In particular, Ir(Me)-PIX enzymes derived from CYP119 catalyze highly enantio- and diastereoselective cyclopropanations of styrene with ±98% ee, >70:1 dr, >75% yield, and ∼10,000 turnovers (TON), as well as 1,2-disubstituted styrenes with up to 99% ee, 35:1 dr, and 54% yield. Moreover, Ir(Me)-PIX enzymes catalyze cyclopropanation of internal, unactivated alkenes with up to 99% stereoselectivity, 76% yield, and 1300 TON. They also catalyze cyclopropanation of natural products with diastereoselectivities that are complementary to those attained with standard transition metal catalysts. Finally, Ir(Me)-PIX P450 variants react with substrate selectivity that is reminiscent of natural enzymes; they react preferentially with less reactive internal alkenes in the presence of more reactive terminal alkenes. Together, the studies reveal the suitability of Ir-containing P450s to combine the broad reactivity and substrate scope of transition metal catalysts with the exquisite selectivity of enzymes, generating catalysts that enable reactions to occur with levels and modes of activity and selectivity previously unattainable with natural enzymes or transition metal complexes alone.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Methyl; Porphyrin
Host protein: Cytochrome P450 (CYP119)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: Cyclopropanation
Max TON: 10181
ee: 98
PDB: ---
Notes: Selectivity for cis product (cis/trans = 90:1)

Breaking Symmetry: Engineering Single-Chain Dimeric Streptavidin as Host for Artificial Metalloenzymes

Ward, T.R.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 15869-15878, 10.1021/jacs.9b06923

The biotin–streptavidin technology has been extensively exploited to engineer artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) that catalyze a dozen different reactions. Despite its versatility, the homotetrameric nature of streptavidin (Sav) and the noncooperative binding of biotinylated cofactors impose two limitations on the genetic optimization of ArMs: (i) point mutations are reflected in all four subunits of Sav, and (ii) the noncooperative binding of biotinylated cofactors to Sav may lead to an erosion in the catalytic performance, depending on the cofactor:biotin-binding site ratio. To address these challenges, we report on our efforts to engineer a (monovalent) single-chain dimeric streptavidin (scdSav) as scaffold for Sav-based ArMs. The versatility of scdSav as host protein is highlighted for the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of prochiral imines using [Cp*Ir(biot-p-L)Cl] as cofactor. By capitalizing on a more precise genetic fine-tuning of the biotin-binding vestibule, unrivaled levels of activity and selectivity were achieved for the reduction of challenging prochiral imines. Comparison of the saturation kinetic data and X-ray structures of [Cp*Ir(biot-p-L)Cl]·scdSav with a structurally related [Cp*Ir(biot-p-L)Cl]·monovalent scdSav highlights the advantages of the presence of a single biotinylated cofactor precisely localized within the biotin-binding vestibule of the monovalent scdSav. The practicality of scdSav-based ArMs was illustrated for the reduction of the salsolidine precursor (500 mM) to afford (R)-salsolidine in 90% ee and >17 000 TONs. Monovalent scdSav thus provides a versatile scaffold to evolve more efficient ArMs for in vivo catalysis and large-scale applications.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Phenanthroline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 17000
ee: 98
PDB: 6S4Q
Notes: Additional PDB: 6S50

Catalytic Water Oxidation by Iridium-Modified Carbonic Anhydrase

Lee, S.-Y.

Chem. - Asian J. 2018, 13, 334-341, 10.1002/asia.201701543

Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is a ubiquitous metalloenzyme with a Zn cofactor coordinated to trigonal histidine imidazole moieties in a tetrahedral geometry. Removal of the Zn cofactor in CA and subsequent binding of Ir afforded CA[Ir]. Under mild and neutral conditions (30 °C, pH 7), CA[Ir] exhibited water‐oxidizing activity with a turnover frequency (TOF) of 39.8 min−1, which is comparable to those of other Ir‐based molecular catalysts. Coordination of Ir to the apoprotein of CA is thermodynamically preferred and is associated with an exothermic energy change (ΔH) of −10.8 kcal mol−1, which implies that the CA apoprotein is stabilized by Ir binding. The catalytic oxygen‐evolving activity of CA[Ir] is displayed only if Ir is bound to CA, which functions as an effective biological scaffold that activates the Ir center for catalysis. The results of this study indicate that the histidine imidazoles at the CA active site could be exploited as beneficial biological ligands to provide unforeseen biochemical activity by coordination to a variety of transition‐metal ions.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino acid
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Water oxidation
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Sodium periodate as sacrificial oxidant. TOF at pH 7 and 30°C is 39.8 min-1.

Chemoselective, Enzymatic C−H Bond Amination Catalyzed by a Cytochrome P450 Containing an Ir(Me)-PIX Cofactor

Hartwig, J.F.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 1750-1753, 10.1021/jacs.6b11410

Cytochrome P450 enzymes have been engineered to catalyze abiological C–H bond amination reactions, but the yields of these reactions have been limited by low chemoselectivity for the amination of C–H bonds over competing reduction of the azide substrate to a sulfonamide. Here we report that P450s derived from a thermophilic organism and containing an iridium porphyrin cofactor (Ir(Me)-PIX) in place of the heme catalyze enantioselective intramolecular C−H bond amination reactions of sulfonyl azides. These reactions occur with chemoselectivity for insertion of the nitrene units into C−H bonds over reduction of the azides to the sulfonamides that is higher and with substrate scope that is broader than those of enzymes containing iron porphyrins. The products from C−H amination are formed in up to 98% yield and ∼300 TON. In one case, the enantiomeric excess reaches 95:5 er, and the reactions can occur with divergent site selectivity. The chemoselectivity for C–H bond amination is greater than 20:1 in all cases. Variants of the Ir(Me)-PIX CYP119 displaying these properties were identified rapidly by evaluating CYP119 mutants containing Ir(Me)-PIX in cell lysates, rather than as purified enzymes. This study sets the stage to discover suitable enzymes to catalyze challenging C–H amination reactions.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Methyl; Porphyrin
Host protein: Cytochrome P450 (CYP119)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: C-H activation
Max TON: 294
ee: 26
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Methyl; Porphyrin
Host protein: Cytochrome P450 (CYP119)
Anchoring strategy: Metal substitution
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: C-H activation
Max TON: 192
ee: 95
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Chimeric Streptavidins as Host Proteins for Artificial Metalloenzymes

Ward, T.R.; Woolfson, D.N.

ACS Catal. 2018, 8, 1476-1484, 10.1021/acscatal.7b03773

The streptavidin scaffold was expanded with well-structured naturally occurring motifs. These chimeric scaffolds were tested as hosts for biotinylated catalysts as artificial metalloenzymes (ArM) for asymmetric transfer hydrogenation, ring-closing metathesis and anion−π catalysis. The additional second coordination sphere elements significantly influence both the activity and the selectivity of the resulting hybrid catalysts. These findings lead to the identification of propitious chimeric streptavidins for future directed evolution efforts of artificial metalloenzymes.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 970
ee: 13
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 158
ee: 82
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 105
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: RCM, biotinylated Hoveyda-Grubbs second generation catalyst

Metal: ---
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: Anion-π catalysis
Max TON: 6
ee: 41
PDB: ---
Notes: No metal

Computational Insights on an Artificial Imine Reductase Based on the Biotin-Streptavidin Technology

Maréchal, J.-D.

ACS Catal. 2014, 4, 833-842, 10.1021/cs400921n

We present a computational study that combines protein–ligand docking, quantum mechanical, and quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations to scrutinize the mechanistic behavior of the first artificial enzyme able to enantioselectively reduce cyclic imines. We applied a novel strategy that allows the characterization of transition state structures in the protein host and their associated reaction paths. Of the most striking results of our investigation is the identification of major conformational differences between the transition state geometries of the lowest energy paths leading to (R)- and (S)-reduction products. The molecular features of (R)- and (S)-transition states highlight distinctive patterns of hydrophobic and polar complementarities between the substrate and the binding site. These differences lead to an activation energy gap that stands in very good agreement with the experimentally determined enantioselectivity. This study sheds light on the mechanism by which transfer hydrogenases operate and illustrates how the change of environment (from homogeneous solution conditions to the asymmetric protein frame) affect the reactivity of the organometallic cofactor. It provides novel insights on the complexity in integrating unnatural organometallic compounds into biological scaffolds. The modeling strategy that we pursued, based on the generation of “pseudo transition state” structures, is computationally efficient and suitable for the discovery and optimization of artificial enzymes. Alternatively, this approach can be applied on systems for which a large conformational sampling is needed to identify relevant transition states.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: ---
ee: 96
PDB: 3PK2
Notes: Prediction of the enantioselectivity by computational methods.

Cross-Regulation of an Artificial Metalloenzyme

Ward, T.R.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 10156-10160, 10.1002/anie.201702181

Cross‐regulation of complex biochemical reaction networks is an essential feature of living systems. In a biomimetic spirit, we report on our efforts to program the temporal activation of an artificial metalloenzyme via cross‐regulation by a natural enzyme. In the presence of urea, urease slowly releases ammonia that reversibly inhibits an artificial transfer hydrogenase. Addition of an acid, which acts as fuel, allows to maintain the system out of equilibrium.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Phenanthroline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 96
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Cross-regulated reduction of the antibiotic enrofloxacin by an ArM.

Directed Evolution of an Artificial Imine Reductase

Maréchal, J.-D.; Ward, T.R.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 1863-1868, 10.1002/anie.201711016

Artificial metalloenzymes, resulting from incorporation of a metal cofactor within a host protein, have received increasing attention in the last decade. The directed evolution is presented of an artificial transfer hydrogenase (ATHase) based on the biotin‐streptavidin technology using a straightforward procedure allowing screening in cell‐free extracts. Two streptavidin isoforms were yielded with improved catalytic activity and selectivity for the reduction of cyclic imines. The evolved ATHases were stable under biphasic catalytic conditions. The X‐ray structure analysis reveals that introducing bulky residues within the active site results in flexibility changes of the cofactor, thus increasing exposure of the metal to the protein surface and leading to a reversal of enantioselectivity. This hypothesis was confirmed by a multiscale approach based mostly on molecular dynamics and protein–ligand dockings.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 380
ee: 95
PDB: 6ESS
Notes: Salsolidine formation; Sav mutant S112A-N118P-K121A-S122M: (R)-selective

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 220
ee: 85
PDB: 6ESU
Notes: Salsolidine formation; Sav mutant S112R-N118P-K121A-S122M-L124Y: (S)-selective

Efficient in Situ Regeneration of NADH Mimics by an Artificial Metalloenzyme

Ward, T.R.

ACS Catal. 2016, 6, 3553-3557, 10.1021/acscatal.6b00258

NADH mimics (mNADHs) have been shown to accelerate and orthogonally activate ene reductase-catalyzed reactions. However, existing regeneration methods of NAD(P)H fail for mNADHs. Catalysis with artificial metalloenzymes based on streptavidin (Sav) variants and a biotinylated iridium cofactor enable mNADH regeneration with formate. This regeneration can be coupled with ene reductase-catalyzed asymmetric reduction of α,β-unsaturated compounds, because of the protective compartmentalization of the organometallic cofactor. With 10 mol % mNAD+, a preparative scale reaction (>100 mg) gave full conversion with 98% ee, where TTNs reached 2000, with respect to the Ir cofactor under ambient atmosphere in aqueous medium.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: >1980
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ArM works in combination with the ene reductase (ER) of the Old Yellow Enzyme family fromThermus scotuductus (TsOYE).

Evaluation of Chemical Diversity of Biotinylated Chiral 1,3-Diamines as a Catalytic Moiety in Artificial Imine Reductase

Rimoldi, I.

ChemCatChem 2016, 8, 1665-1670, 10.1002/cctc.201600116

The possibility of obtaining an efficient artificial imine reductase was investigated by introducing a chiral cofactor into artificial metalloenzymes based on biotin–streptavidin technology. In particular, a chiral biotinylated 1,3‐diamine ligand in coordination with iridium(III) complex was developed. Optimized chemogenetic studies afforded positive results in the stereoselective reduction of a cyclic imine, the salsolidine precursor, as a standard substrate with access to both enantiomers. Various factors such as pH, temperature, number of binding sites, and steric hindrance of the catalytic moiety have been proved to affect both efficiency and enantioselectivity, underlining the great flexibility of this system in comparison with the achiral system. Computational studies were also performed to explain how the metal configuration, in the proposed system, might affect the observed stereochemical outcome.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: >99
ee: 83
PDB: 3PK2
Notes: ---

Expanding the Chemical Diversity in Artificial Imine Reductases Based on the Biotin–Streptavidin Technology

Ward, T.R.

ChemCatChem 2014, 6, 1010-1014, 10.1002/cctc.201300825

We report on the optimization of an artificial imine reductase based on the biotin‐streptavidin technology. With the aim of rapidly generating chemical diversity, a novel strategy for the formation and evaluation of biotinylated complexes is disclosed. Tethering the biotin‐anchor to the Cp* moiety leaves three free coordination sites on a d6 metal for the introduction of chemical diversity by coordination of a variety of ligands. To test the concept, 34 bidentate ligands were screened and a selection of the 6 best was tested in the presence of 21 streptavidin (Sav) isoforms for the asymmetric imine reduction by the resulting three legged piano stool complexes. Enantiopure α‐amino amides were identified as promising bidentate ligands: up to 63 % ee and 190 turnovers were obtained in the formation of 1‐phenyl‐1,2,3,4‐tetrahydroisoquinoline with [IrCp*biotin(L‐ThrNH2)Cl]⊂SavWT as a catalyst.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino acid; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 188
ee: 43
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino carboxylic acid; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 4
ee: 21
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 0
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 0
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Pyrazine amide
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 26
ee: 16
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Bipyridine; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 0
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 12
ee: 13
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Oxazoline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 102
ee: 14
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino acid; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 94
ee: 67
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Amino amide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 10
ee: 7
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Amino carboxylic acid; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 8
ee: 1
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 6
ee: 1
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 6
ee: 1
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Cp*; Pyrazine amide
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 6
ee: 1
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Bipyridine; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 4
ee: 6
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 6
ee: 1
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Cp*; Oxazoline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 8
ee: 0
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Ferritin Encapsulation of Artificial Metalloenzymes: Engineering a Tertiary Coordination Sphere for an Artificial Transfer Hydrogenase

Ward, T.R.

Dalton Trans. 2018, 47, 10837-10841, 10.1039/C8DT02224K

Ferritin, a naturally occuring iron-storage protein, plays an important role in nanoengineering and biomedical applications. Upon iron removal, apoferritin was shown to allow the encapsulation of an artificial transfer hydrogenase (ATHase) based on the streptavidin-biotin technology. The third coordination sphere, provided by ferritin, significantly influences the catalytic activity of an ATHase for the reduction of cyclic imines.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 3874
ee: 75
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Fluorescence-Based Assay for the Optimization of the Activity of Artificial Transfer Hydrogenase within a Biocompatible Compartment

Ward, T.R.

ChemCatChem 2013, 5, 720-723, 10.1002/cctc.201200834

The time capsules: The transfer hydrogenation of an enone‐bound fluorogenic compound by an artificial metalloenzyme leads to the release of fluorescent compound umbelliferone. Upon encapsulation of the hybrid catalyst inside a biocompatible compartment, the activity of the transfer hydrogenase is maintained for several months, even at micromolar concentrations.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Genetic Engineering of an Artificial Metalloenzyme for Transfer Hydrogenation of a Self-Immolative Substrate in Escherichia coli’s Periplasm

Ward, T.R.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 13171-13175, 10.1021/jacs.8b07189

Artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs), which combine an abiotic metal cofactor with a protein scaffold, catalyze various synthetically useful transformations. To complement the natural enzymes’ repertoire, effective optimization protocols to improve ArM’s performance are required. Here we report on our efforts to optimize the activity of an artificial transfer hydrogenase (ATHase) using Escherichia coli whole cells. For this purpose, we rely on a self-immolative quinolinium substrate which, upon reduction, releases fluorescent umbelliferone, thus allowing efficient screening. Introduction of a loop in the immediate proximity of the Ir-cofactor afforded an ArM with up to 5-fold increase in transfer hydrogenation activity compared to the wild-type ATHase using purified mutants.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 1000
ee: 76
PDB: 6GMI
Notes: ---

Genetic Optimization of the Catalytic Efficiency of Artificial Imine Reductases Based on Biotin−Streptavidin Technology

Ward, T.R.

ACS Catal. 2013, 3, 1752-1755, 10.1021/cs400428r

Artificial metalloenzymes enable the engineering of the reaction microenvironment of the active metal catalyst by modification of the surrounding host protein. We report herein the optimization of an artificial imine reductase (ATHase) based on biotin–streptavidin technology. By introduction of lipophilic amino acid residues around the active site, an 8-fold increase in catalytic efficiency compared with the wild type imine reductase was achieved. Whereas substrate inhibition was encountered for the free cofactor and wild type ATHase, two engineered systems exhibited classical Michaelis–Menten kinetics, even at substrate concentrations of 150 mM with measured rates up to 20 min–1.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: ---
ee: 60
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

High-Level Secretion of Recombinant Full-Length Streptavidin in Pichia Pastoris and its Application to Enantioselective Catalysis

Jaussi, R.

Protein Expression Purif. 2014, 93, 54-62, 10.1016/j.pep.2013.10.015

Artificial metalloenzymes result from the incorporation of a catalytically competent biotinylated organometallic moiety into full-length (i.e. mature) streptavidin. With large-scale industrial biotechnology applications in mind, large quantities of recombinant streptavidin are required. Herein we report our efforts to produce wild-type mature and biotin-free streptavidin using the yeast Pichia pastoris expression system. The streptavidin gene was inserted into the expression vector pPICZαA in frame with the Saccharomyces cerevisiae α-mating factor secretion signal. In a fed-batch fermentation using a minimal medium supplemented with trace amounts of biotin, functional streptavidin was secreted at approximately 650 mg/L of culture supernatant. This yield is approximately threefold higher than that from Escherichia coli, and although the overall expression process takes longer (ten days vs. two days), the downstream processing is simplified by eliminating denaturing/refolding steps. The purified streptavidin bound ∼3.2 molecules of biotin per tetramer. Upon incorporation of a biotinylated piano-stool catalyst, the secreted streptavidin displayed identical properties to streptavidin produced in E. coli by showing activity as artificial imine reductase.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 152
ee: 61
PDB: ---
Notes: Sav expression in E. coli

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 158
ee: 64
PDB: ---
Notes: Sav expression in P. pastoris

Human Carbonic Anhydrase II as Host Protein for the Creation of Artificial Metalloenzymes: The Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of Imines

Ward, T.R.

Chem. Sci. 2013, 4, 3269, 10.1039/c3sc51065d

In the presence of human carbonic anhydrase II, aryl-sulfonamide-bearing IrCp* pianostool complexes catalyze the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of imines. Critical cofactor–protein interactions revealed by the X-ray structure of [(η5-Cp*)Ir(pico 4)Cl] 9 ⊂ WT hCA II were genetically optimized to improve the catalytic performance of the artificial metalloenzyme (68% ee, kcat/KM 6.11 × 10−3 min−1 mM−1).


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 47
ee: 70
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Immobilization of an Artificial Imine Reductase Within Silica Nanoparticles Improves its Performance

Shahgaldian, P.; Ward, T.R.

Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 9462-9465, 10.1039/c6cc04604e

Silica nanoparticles equipped with an artificial imine reductase display remarkable activity towards cyclic imine- and NAD+ reduction. The method, based on immobilization and protection of streptavidin on silica nanoparticles, shields the biotinylated metal cofactor against deactivation yielding over 46 000 turnovers in pure samples and 4000 turnovers in crude cellular extracts.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Cp*
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 4554
ee: 89
PDB: ---
Notes: Reaction in nanoparticles

Immobilization of Two Organometallic Complexes into a Single Cage to Construct Protein-Based Microcompartment

Ueno, T.

Chem. Commun. 2016, 52, 5463-5466, 10.1039/C6CC00679E

Natural protein-based microcompartments containing multiple enzymes promote cascade reactions within cells. We use the apo-ferritin protein cage to mimic such biocompartments by immobilizing two organometallic Ir and Pd complexes into the single protein cage. Precise locations of the metals and their accumulation mechanism were studied by X-ray crystallography.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Amino acid; Cp*
Host protein: Apo-ferritin
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Hydrogenation
Max TON: ~2
ee: 15
PDB: 5E2D
Notes: Tandem reaction (Hydrogenation and Suzuki-Miyaura coupling) to form biphenylethanol from 4-iodoacetophenone and phenylboronic acid. TON and ee are given for the tandem reaction product.

Metal: Pd
Ligand type: Allyl; Amino acid
Host protein: Apo-ferritin
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical
Max TON: ~1
ee: 15
PDB: 5E2D
Notes: Tandem reaction (Hydrogenation and Suzuki-Miyaura coupling) to form biphenylethanol from 4-iodoacetophenone and phenylboronic acid.

Improving the Catalytic Performance of an Artificial Metalloenzyme by Computational Design

Baker, D.; Ward, T.R.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 10414-10419, 10.1021/jacs.5b06622

Artifical metalloenzymes combine the reactivity of small molecule catalysts with the selectivity of enzymes, and new methods are required to tune the catalytic properties of these systems for an application of interest. Structure-based computational design could help to identify amino acid mutations leading to improved catalytic activity and enantioselectivity. Here we describe the application of Rosetta Design for the genetic optimization of an artificial transfer hydrogenase (ATHase hereafter), [(η5-Cp*)Ir(pico)Cl] ⊂ WT hCA II (Cp* = Me5C5–), for the asymmetric reduction of a cyclic imine, the precursor of salsolsidine. Based on a crystal structure of the ATHase, computational design afforded four hCAII variants with protein backbone-stabilizing and hydrophobic cofactor-embedding mutations. In dansylamide-competition assays, these designs showed 46–64-fold improved affinity for the iridium pianostool complex [(η5-Cp*)Ir(pico)Cl]. Gratifyingly, the new designs yielded a significant improvement in both activity and enantioselectivity (from 70% ee (WT hCA II) to up to 92% ee and a 4-fold increase in total turnover number) for the production of (S)-salsolidine. Introducing additional hydrophobicity in the Cp*-moiety of the Ir-catalyst provided by adding a propyl substituent on the Cp* moiety yields the most (S)-selective (96% ee) ATHase reported to date. X-ray structural data indicate that the high enantioselectivity results from embedding the piano stool moiety within the protein, consistent with the computational model.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Pyridine sulfonamide
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Max TON: 100
ee: 96
PDB: ---
Notes: ---