32 publications

32 publications

A Cell-Penetrating Artificial Metalloenzyme Regulates a Gene Switch in a Designer Mammalian Cell

Fussenegger, M.; Matile, S.; Ward, T.R.

Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 10.1038/s41467-018-04440-0

Complementing enzymes in their native environment with either homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts is challenging due to the sea of functionalities present within a cell. To supplement these efforts, artificial metalloenzymes are drawing attention as they combine attractive features of both homogeneous catalysts and enzymes. Herein we show that such hybrid catalysts consisting of a metal cofactor, a cell-penetrating module, and a protein scaffold are taken up into HEK-293T cells where they catalyze the uncaging of a hormone. This bioorthogonal reaction causes the upregulation of a gene circuit, which in turn leads to the expression of a nanoluc-luciferase. Relying on the biotin–streptavidin technology, variation of the biotinylated ruthenium complex: the biotinylated cell-penetrating poly(disulfide) ratio can be combined with point mutations on streptavidin to optimize the catalytic uncaging of an allyl-carbamate-protected thyroid hormone triiodothyronine. These results demonstrate that artificial metalloenzymes offer highly modular tools to perform bioorthogonal catalysis in live HEK cells.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Cp; Quinoline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: Deallylation
Max TON: 33
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Addressable DNA–Myoglobin Photocatalysis

Niemeyer, C.M.

Chem. - Asian J. 2009, 4, 1064-1069, 10.1002/asia.200900082

A hybrid myoglobin, containing a single‐stranded DNA anchor and a redox‐active ruthenium moiety tethered to the heme center can be used as a photocatalyst. The catalyst can be selectively immobilized on a surface‐bound complementary DNA molecule and thus readily recycled from complex reaction mixtures. This principle may be applied to a range of heme‐dependent enzymes allowing the generation of novel light‐triggered photocatalysts. Photoactivatable myoglobin containing a DNA oligonucleotide as a structural anchor was designed by using the reconstitution of artificial heme moieties containing Ru3+ ions. This semisynthetic DNA–enzyme conjugate was successfully used for the oxidation of peroxidase substrates by using visible light instead of H2O2 for the activation. The DNA anchor was utilized for the immobilization of the enzyme on the surface of magnetic microbeads. Enzyme activity measurements not only indicated undisturbed biofunctionality of the tethered DNA but also enabled magnetic separation‐based enrichment and recycling of the photoactivatable biocatalyst.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Bipyridine
Host protein: Myoglobin (Mb)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: ---
Reaction: Photooxidation
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Horse heart myoglobin

A Highly Active Biohybrid Catalyst for Olefin Metathesis in Water: Impact of a Hydrophobic Cavity in a β-Barrel Protein

Okuda, J.

ACS Catal. 2015, 5, 7519-7522, 10.1021/acscatal.5b01792

A series of Grubbs–Hoveyda type catalyst precursors for olefin metathesis containing a maleimide moiety in the backbone of the NHC ligand was covalently incorporated in the cavity of the β-barrel protein nitrobindin. By using two protein mutants with different cavity sizes and choosing the suitable spacer length, an artificial metalloenzyme for olefin metathesis reactions in water in the absence of any organic cosolvents was obtained. High efficiencies reaching TON > 9000 in the ROMP of a water-soluble 7-oxanorbornene derivative and TON > 100 in ring-closing metathesis (RCM) of 4,4-bis(hydroxymethyl)-1,6-heptadiene in water under relatively mild conditions (pH 6, T = 25–40 °C) were observed.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Nitrobindin (Nb)
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 9900
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ROMP (cis/trans: 48/52)

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Nitrobindin (Nb)
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 100
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: RCM

A Hybrid Ring- Opening Metathesis Polymerization Catalyst Based on an Engineered Variant of the Beta-Barrel Protein FhuA

Okuda, J.; Schwaneberg, U.

Chem. - Eur. J. 2013, 19, 13865-13871, 10.1002/chem.201301515

A β‐barrel protein hybrid catalyst was prepared by covalently anchoring a Grubbs–Hoveyda type olefin metathesis catalyst at a single accessible cysteine amino acid in the barrel interior of a variant of β‐barrel transmembrane protein ferric hydroxamate uptake protein component A (FhuA). Activity of this hybrid catalyst type was demonstrated by ring‐opening metathesis polymerization of a 7‐oxanorbornene derivative in aqueous solution.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: FhuA ΔCVFtev
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 955
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ROMP

An Artificial Metalloenzyme for Olefin Metathesis

Hilvert, D.; Ward, T.R.

Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 12068, 10.1039/c1cc15005g

A Grubbs–Hoveyda type olefin metathesis catalyst, equipped with an electrophilic bromoacetamide group, was used to modify a cysteine-containing variant of a small heat shock protein from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii. The resulting artificial metalloenzyme was found to be active under acidic conditions in a benchmark ring closing metathesis reaction.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: ---
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 25
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: RCM

Antibody-Metalloporphyrin Catalytic Assembly Mimics Natural Oxidation Enzymes

Keinan, E.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 8978-8982, 10.1021/ja990314q

An antibody−metalloporphyrin assembly that catalyzes the enantioselective oxidation of aromatic sulfides to sulfoxides is presented. Antibody SN37.4 was elicited against a water-soluble tin(IV) porphyrin containing an axial α-naphthoxy ligand. The catalytic assembly comprising antibody SN37.4 and a ruthenium(II) porphyrin cofactor exhibited typical enzyme characteristics, such as predetermined oxidant and substrate selectivity, enantioselective delivery of oxygen to the substrate, and Michaelis−Menten saturation kinetics. This assembly, which promotes a complex, multistep catalytic event, represents a close model of natural heme-dependent oxidation enzymes.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Porphyrin
Host protein: Antibody SN37.4
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Sulfoxidation
Max TON: 750
ee: 43
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 Based on Biotin-Avidin Technology for the Enantioselective Reduction of Ketones by Transfer Hydrogenation

Ward, T.R.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2005, 102, 4683-4687, 10.1073/pnas.0409684102

Most physiological and biotechnological processes rely on molecular recognition between chiral (handed) molecules. Manmade homogeneous catalysts and enzymes offer complementary means for producing enantiopure (single-handed) compounds. As the subtle details that govern chiral discrimination are difficult to predict, improving the performance of such catalysts often relies on trial-and-error procedures. Homogeneous catalysts are optimized by chemical modification of the chiral environment around the metal center. Enzymes can be improved by modification of gene encoding the protein. Incorporation of a biotinylated organometallic catalyst into a host protein (avidin or streptavidin) affords versatile artificial metalloenzymes for the reduction of ketones by transfer hydrogenation. The boric acid·formate mixture was identified as a hydrogen source compatible with these artificial metalloenzymes. A combined chemo-genetic procedure allows us to optimize the activity and selectivity of these hybrid catalysts: up to 94% (R) enantiomeric excess for the reduction of p-methylacetophenone. These artificial metalloenzymes display features reminiscent of both homogeneous catalysts and enzymes.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; P-cymene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 92
ee: 94
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Benzene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 30
ee: 63
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Artificial Metalloenzymes for Olefin Metathesis Based on the Biotin-(Strept)Avidin Technology

Ward, T.R.

Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 12065, 10.1039/c1cc15004a

Incorporation of a biotinylated Hoveyda-Grubbs catalyst within (strept)avidin affords artificial metalloenzymes for the ring-closing metathesis of N-tosyl diallylamine in aqueous solution. Optimization of the performance can be achieved either by chemical or genetic means.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 14
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: RCM

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Avidin (Av)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 19
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: RCM

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: ---

Binding Mechanisms of Half-Sandwich Rh(III) and Ru(II) Arene Complexes on Human Serum Albumin: a Comparative Study

Dömötör, O.; Enyedy, É.A.

J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2019, 24, 703-719, 10.1007/s00775-019-01683-0

Various half-sandwich ruthenium(II) arene complexes and rhodium(III) arene complexes have been intensively investigated due to their prominent anticancer activity. The interaction of the organometallic complexes of Ru(η6-p-cymene) and Rh(η5-C5Me5) with human serum albumin (HSA) was studied in detail by a combination of various methods such as ultrafiltration, capillary electrophoresis, 1H NMR spectroscopy, fluorometry and UV–visible spectrophotometry in the presence of 100 mM chloride ions. Binding characteristics of the organometallic ions and their complexes with deferiprone, 2-picolinic acid, maltol, 6-methyl-2-picolinic acid and 2-quinaldic acid were evaluated. Kinetic aspects and reversibility of the albumin binding are also discussed. The effect of low-molecular-mass blood components on the protein binding was studied in addition to the interaction of organorhodium complexes with cell culture medium components. The organometallic ions were found to bind to HSA to a high extent via a coordination bond. Release of the bound metal ions was kinetically hindered and could not be induced by the denaturation of the protein. Binding of the Ru(η6-p-cymene) triaqua cation was much slower (ca. 24 h) compared to the rhodium congener (few min), while their complexes interacted with the protein relatively fast (1–2 h). The studied complexes were bound to HSA coordinatively. The highly stable and kinetically inert 2-picolinate Ru(η6-p-cymene) complex bound in an associative manner preserving its original entity, while lower stability complexes decomposed partly or completely upon binding to HSA. Fast, non-specific and high-affinity binding of the complexes on HSA highlights their coordinative interaction with various types of proteins possibly decreasing effective drug concentration.


Metal: Rh; Ru
Ligand type: Bidentate ligands
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: ---
Reaction: ---
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Biocompatibility and Therapeutic Potential of Glycosylated Albumin Artificial Metalloenzymes

Tanaka, K.

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: Ru
Ligand type: Hoveyda–Grubbs
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical
Max TON: 29.9
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Carbonic Anhydrase II as Host Protein for the Creation of a Biocompatible Artificial Metathesase

Ward, T.R.

Org. Biomol. Chem. 2015, 13, 5652-5655, 10.1039/c5ob00428d

We report an efficient artificial metathesase which combines an arylsulfonamide anchor within the protein scaffold human carbonic anhydrase II.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 28
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Ring closing metathesis. 28 turnovers obtained under physiological conditions within 4 hours.

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

Covalent Anchoring of a Racemization Catalyst to CALB-Beads: Towards Dual Immobilization of DKR Catalysts

Klein Gebbink, R.J.M.; van Koten, G.

Tetrahedron Lett. 2011, 52, 1601-1604, 10.1016/j.tetlet.2011.01.106

The preparation of a heterogeneous bifunctional catalytic system, combining the catalytic properties of an organometallic catalyst (racemization) with those of an enzyme (enantioselective acylation) is described. A novel ruthenium phosphonate inhibitor was synthesized and covalently anchored to a lipase immobilized on a solid support (CALB, Novozym® 435). The immobilized bifunctional catalytic system showed activity in both racemization of (S)-1-phenylethanol and selective acylation of 1-phenylethanol.


Metal: Ru
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Acylation
Max TON: ---
ee: >99%
PDB: ---
Notes: Lipase CALB is immobilized on a solid support (Novozym®435). Dynamic kinetic resolution (DKR) of 1-phenylethanol to the acylated product.

Creation of an Artificial Metalloprotein with a Hoveyda–Grubbs Catalyst Moiety through the Intrinsic Inhibition Mechanism of α-Chymotrypsin

Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 1662, 10.1039/c2cc16898g

An L-phenylalanyl chloromethylketone-based inhibitor equipped with a Hoveyda–Grubbs catalyst moiety was regioselectively incorporated into the cleft of α-chymotrypsin through the intrinsic inhibition mechanism of the protein to construct an artificial organometallic protein.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: α-chymotrypsin
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: ---
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 20
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: RCM

Directed Evolution of Artificial Metalloenzymes for In Vivo Metathesis

Panke, S.; Ward, T.R.

Nature 2016, 537, 661-665, 10.1038/nature19114

The field of biocatalysis has advanced from harnessing natural enzymes to using directed evolution to obtain new biocatalysts with tailor-made functions1. Several tools have recently been developed to expand the natural enzymatic repertoire with abiotic reactions2,3. For example, artificial metalloenzymes, which combine the versatile reaction scope of transition metals with the beneficial catalytic features of enzymes, offer an attractive means to engineer new reactions. Three complementary strategies exist3: repurposing natural metalloenzymes for abiotic transformations2,4; in silico metalloenzyme (re-)design5,6,7; and incorporation of abiotic cofactors into proteins8,9,10,11. The third strategy offers the opportunity to design a wide variety of artificial metalloenzymes for non-natural reactions. However, many metal cofactors are inhibited by cellular components and therefore require purification of the scaffold protein12,13,14,15. This limits the throughput of genetic optimization schemes applied to artificial metalloenzymes and their applicability in vivo to expand natural metabolism. Here we report the compartmentalization and in vivo evolution of an artificial metalloenzyme for olefin metathesis, which represents an archetypal organometallic reaction16,17,18,19,20,21,22 without equivalent in nature. Building on previous work6 on an artificial metallohydrolase, we exploit the periplasm of Escherichia coli as a reaction compartment for the ‘metathase’ because it offers an auspicious environment for artificial metalloenzymes, mainly owing to low concentrations of inhibitors such as glutathione, which has recently been identified as a major inhibitor15. This strategy facilitated the assembly of a functional metathase in vivo and its directed evolution with substantially increased throughput compared to conventional approaches that rely on purified protein variants. The evolved metathase compares favourably with commercial catalysts, shows activity for different metathesis substrates and can be further evolved in different directions by adjusting the workflow. Our results represent the systematic implementation and evolution of an artificial metalloenzyme that catalyses an abiotic reaction in vivo, with potential applications in, for example, non-natural metabolism.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 610
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Reaction in the periplasm

Diruthenium Diacetate-Catalyzed Aerobic Oxidation of Hydroxylamines and Improved Chemoselectivity by Immobilization to Lysozyme

Cardona, F.; Goti, A.; Messori, L.

ChemCatChem 2017, 9, 4225-4230, 10.1002/cctc.201701083

A new green method for the preparation of nitrones through the aerobic oxidation of the corresponding N,N‐disubstituted hydroxylamines has been developed upon exploring the catalytic activity of a diruthenium catalyst, that is, [Ru2(OAc)4Cl]), in aqueous or alcoholic solution under mild reaction conditions (0.1 to 1 mol % catalyst, air, 50 °C) and reasonable reaction times. Notably, the catalytic activity of the dimetallic centre is retained after its binding to the small protein lysozyme. Interestingly, this new artificial metalloenzyme conferred complete chemoselectivity to the oxidation of cyclic hydroxylamines, in contrast to the diruthenium catalyst.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino acid; OAc
Host protein: Lysozyme
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: Chemical
Max TON: 1000
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Dual Modification of a Triple-Stranded β-Helix Nanotube with Ru and Re Metal Complexes to Promote Photocatalytic Reduction of CO2

Ueno, T.

Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 2074, 10.1039/C0CC03015E

We have constructed a robust β-helical nanotube from the component proteins of bacteriophage T4 and modified this nanotube with RuII(bpy)3 and ReI(bpy)(CO)3Cl complexes. The photocatalytic system arranged on the tube catalyzes the reduction of CO2 with higher reactivity than that of the mixture of the monomeric forms.


Metal: Re
Ligand type: Bipyridine; CO
Host protein: [(gp5βf)3]2
Anchoring strategy: Cystein-maleimide
Optimization: ---
Reaction: CO2 reduction
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Bipyridine
Host protein: [(gp5βf)3]2
Anchoring strategy: Lysine-succinimide
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: CO2 reduction
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

E. coli Surface Display of Streptavidin for Directed Evolution of an Allylic Deallylase

Ward, T.R.

Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 5383-5388, 10.1039/c8sc00484f

Artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs hereafter) combine attractive features of both homogeneous catalysts and enzymes and offer the potential to implement new-to-nature reactions in living organisms. Herein we present an E. coli surface display platform for streptavidin (Sav hereafter) relying on an Lpp-OmpA anchor. The system was used for the high throughput screening of a bioorthogonal CpRu-based artificial deallylase (ADAse) that uncages an allylcarbamate-protected aminocoumarin 1. Two rounds of directed evolution afforded the double mutant S112M–K121A that displayed a 36-fold increase in surface activity vs. cellular background and a 5.7-fold increased in vitro activity compared to the wild type enzyme. The crystal structure of the best ADAse reveals the importance of mutation S112M to stabilize the cofactor conformation inside the protein.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Cp; Quinoline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: Deallylation
Max TON: 148
ee: ---
PDB: 6FH8
Notes: ---

Hybrid Ruthenium ROMP Catalysts Based on an Engineered Variant of β-Barrel Protein FhuA ΔCVFtev: Effect of Spacer Length

Okuda, J.

Chem. - Asian J. 2015, 10, 177-182, 10.1002/asia.201403005

A biohybrid ring‐opening olefin metathesis polymerization catalyst based on the reengineered β‐barrel protein FhuA ΔCVFtev was chemically modified with respect to the covalently anchored Grubbs–Hoveyda type catalyst. Shortening of the spacer (1,3‐propanediyl to methylene) between the N‐heterocyclic carbene ligand and the cysteine site 545 increased the ROMP activity toward a water‐soluble 7‐oxanorbornene derivative. The cis/trans ratio of the double bond in the polymer was influenced by the hybrid catalyst.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: FhuA ΔCVFtev
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 555
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: ROMP; cis/trans = 58/42

Improving the Enantioselectivity of Artificial Transfer Hydrogenases Based on the Biotin–Streptavidin Technology by Combinations of Point Mutations

Ward, T.R.

Inorg. Chim. Acta 2010, 363, 601-604, 10.1016/j.ica.2009.02.001

Artificial metalloenzymes based on the incorporation of biotinylated ruthenium piano–stool complexes within streptavidin can be readily optimized by chemical or genetic means. We performed genetic modifications of such artificial metalloenzymes for the transfer hydrogenation of aromatic ketones, by combining targeted point mutations of the host protein. Upon using the P64G-L124V double mutant of streptavidin in combination with the [η6-(p-cymene)Ru(Biot-p-L)Cl] complex, the enantioselectivity can be increased up to 98% ee (R) for the reduction of p-methylacetophenone, which is the highest selectivity obtained up to date with an artificial transfer hydrogenase.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; P-cymene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 98
ee: 98
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Amino-sulfonamide; Benzene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 24
ee: 84
PDB: 2QCB
Notes: ---

Library Design and Screening Protocol for Artificial Metalloenzymes Based on the Biotin-Streptavidin Technology

Ward, T.R.

Nat. Protoc. 2016, 11, 835-852, 10.1038/nprot.2016.019

Artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) based on the incorporation of a biotinylated metal cofactor within streptavidin (Sav) combine attractive features of both homogeneous and enzymatic catalysts. To speed up their optimization, we present a streamlined protocol for the design, expression, partial purification and screening of Sav libraries. Twenty-eight positions have been subjected to mutagenesis to yield 335 Sav isoforms, which can be expressed in 24-deep-well plates using autoinduction medium. The resulting cell-free extracts (CFEs) typically contain >1 mg of soluble Sav. Two straightforward alternatives are presented, which allow the screening of ArMs using CFEs containing Sav. To produce an artificial transfer hydrogenase, Sav is coupled to a biotinylated three-legged iridium pianostool complex Cp*Ir(Biot-p-L)Cl (the cofactor). To screen Sav variants for this application, you would determine the number of free binding sites, treat them with diamide, incubate them with the cofactor and then perform the reaction with your test compound (the example used in this protocol is 1-phenyl-3,4-dihydroisoquinoline). This process takes 20 d. If you want to perform metathesis reactions, Sav is coupled to a biotinylated second-generation Grubbs-Hoveyda catalyst. In this application, it is best to first immobilize Sav on Sepharose-iminobiotin beads and then perform washing steps. Elution from the beads is achieved in an acidic reaction buffer before incubation with the cofactor. Catalysis using your test compound (in this protocol, 2-(4-(N,N-diallylsulfamoyl)phenyl)-N,N,N-trimethylethan-1-aminium iodide) is performed using the formed metalloenzyme. Screening using this approach takes 19 d.


Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 183
ee: 71
PDB: ---
Notes: Purified streptavidin (mutant K121A)

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*; Diamine
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 42
ee: 59
PDB: ---
Notes: Cell free extract (mutant Sav K121A) treated with diamide

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: N-heterocyclic carbene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 66
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Purified streptavidin (mutant K121A)

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: N-heterocyclic carbene
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Chemical & genetic
Max TON: 18
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Cell free extract (mutant Sav K121A immobilised on iminobiotin-sepharose beads)

Metal-Conjugated Affinity Labels: A New Concept to Create Enantioselective Artificial Metalloenzymes

Eppinger, J.

ChemistryOpen 2013, 2, 50-54, 10.1002/open.201200044

How to train a protein: Metal‐conjugated affinity labels were used to selectively position catalytically active metal centers in the binding pocket of proteases. The resulting artificial metalloenzymes achieve up to 82 % e.r. in the hydrogenation of ketones. The modular setup enables a rapid generation of artificial metalloenzyme libraries, which can be adapted to a broad range of catalytic conditions.


Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Cp*; Phosphine
Host protein: Papain (PAP)
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Hydrogenation
Max TON: 89
ee: 64
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Benzene; Phosphine
Host protein: Bromelain
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Hydrogenation
Max TON: 44
ee: 20
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

On-Cell Catalysis by Surface Engineering of Live Cells with an Artificial Metalloenzyme

Gademann, K.

Commun. Chem. 2018, 1, 10.1038/s42004-018-0087-y

Metal-catalyzed chemical transformations performed at the cellular level bear great potential for the manipulation of biological processes. The complexity of the cell renders the use of transition metal chemistry difficult in cellular systems. The delivery of the reactive catalyst and the control of its spatial localization remain challenging. Here we report the surface functionalization of the unicellular eukaryote Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with a tailor-made artificial metalloenzyme for on-cell catalysis. The functionalized cells remain viable and are able to uncage a fluorogenic substrate on their surface. This work leverages cell surface engineering to provide live cells with new-to-nature reactivity. In addition, this operationally simple approach is not genetically encoded and thereby transient, which offers advantages with regard to temporal control, cell viability, and safety. Therefore, and as a feature, the movement of the functionalized cells can be directed by light (via phototaxis), allowing for the three-dimensional localization of catalysts by outside stimuli.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Cp; Quinoline
Host protein: Streptavidin (Sav)
Anchoring strategy: Supramolecular
Optimization: Genetic
Reaction: Deallylation
Max TON: 80
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Catalysis on algae surface

Porous Protein Crystals as Catalytic Vessels for Organometallic Complexes

Kitagawa, S.; Ueno, T.

Chem. - Asian J. 2014, 9, 1373-1378, 10.1002/asia.201301347

Porous protein crystals, which are protein assemblies in the solid state, have been engineered to form catalytic vessels by the incorporation of organometallic complexes. Ruthenium complexes in cross‐linked porous hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) crystals catalyzed the enantioselective hydrogen‐transfer reduction of acetophenone derivatives. The crystals accelerated the catalytic reaction and gave different enantiomers based on the crystal form (tetragonal or orthorhombic). This method represents a new approach for the construction of bioinorganic catalysts from protein crystals.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Benzene
Host protein: Lysozyme (crystal)
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: ---
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: 3W6A
Notes: Tetragonal HEWL crystals

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Benzene
Host protein: Lysozyme (crystal)
Anchoring strategy: Dative
Optimization: ---
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: 4J7V
Notes: Orthorhombic HEWL crystals

Proteins as Macromolecular Ligands for Metal-Catalysed Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones in Aqueous Medium

Salmain, M.

Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2018, 2018, 1383-1393, 10.1002/ejic.201701359

Biohybrid catalysts resulting from the dative anchoring of half‐sandwich organometallic complexes [M(arene)(H2O)x(Cl)y]n+ (M = RuII, arene = η6‐benzene, p‐cymene or mesitylene; M = IrIII, RhIII, arene = η5‐Cp*; x = 1–3, y = 0–2, n = 0–2) to bovine beta‐lactoglobulin (βLG) or hen egg white lysozyme showed unprecedented behaviour. These constructs were shown to catalyse the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of aryl ketones in water with sodium formate as hydrogen donor at a much faster rate than the complexes alone. Full conversion of the benchmark substrate 2,2,2‐trifluoroacetophenone was reached with an ee of 86 % for the most selective biohybrid. Surprisingly, even the crude biohybrid gave a good ee despite the presence of non‐protein‐bound metal species in the reaction medium. Other aryl ketones were reduced in the same way, and the highest ee was obtained for ortho‐substituted acetophenone derivatives. Furthermore, treatment of βLG with dimethyl pyrocarbonate resulted in a noticeable decrease of the activity and selectivity of the biohybrid, indicating that the sole accessible histidine residue (His146) was probably involved in the coordination and activation of Ru(benzene). This work underscores that protein scaffolds are efficient chiral ligands for asymmetric catalysis. The use of sodium formate instead of dihydrogen makes this approach safe, inexpensive and environmentally friendly.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Benzene derivatives
Anchoring strategy: Undefined
Optimization: ---
Max TON: 43
ee: 82
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Rh
Ligand type: Cp*
Anchoring strategy: Undefined
Optimization: ---
Max TON: 16
ee: 14
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Metal: Ir
Ligand type: Cp*
Anchoring strategy: Undefined
Optimization: ---
Max TON: 20
ee: 16
PDB: ---
Notes: ---

Ring-Closing and Cross-Metathesis with Artificial Metalloenzymes Created by Covalent Active Site- Directed Hybridization of a Lipase

Klein Gebbink, R.J.M.

Chem. - Eur. J. 2015, 21, 15676-15685, 10.1002/chem.201502381

A series of Grubbs‐type catalysts that contain lipase‐inhibiting phosphoester functionalities have been synthesized and reacted with the lipase cutinase, which leads to artificial metalloenzymes for olefin metathesis. The resulting hybrids comprise the organometallic fragment that is covalently bound to the active amino acid residue of the enzyme host in an orthogonal orientation. Differences in reactivity as well as accessibility of the active site by the functionalized inhibitor became evident through variation of the anchoring motif and substituents on the N‐heterocyclic carbene ligand. Such observations led to the design of a hybrid that is active in the ring‐closing metathesis and the cross‐metathesis of N,N‐diallyl‐p‐toluenesulfonamide and allylbenzene, respectively, the latter being the first example of its kind in the field of artificial metalloenzymes.


Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Cutinase
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 17
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: RCM

Metal: Ru
Ligand type: Carbene
Host protein: Cutinase
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: Chemical
Reaction: Olefin metathesis
Max TON: 20
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: Cross metathesis

Semisynthesis of Bipyridyl-Alanine Cytochrome c Mutants: Novel Proteins with Enhanced Electron-Transfer Properties

Gray, H.B.; Imperiali, B.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1993, 115, 8455-8456, 10.1021/ja00071a068

n/a


Metal: Fe; Ru
Ligand type: Bipyridine; Porphyrin
Host protein: Horse heart cytochrome c
Anchoring strategy: Covalent
Optimization: ---
Reaction: Electron transfer
Max TON: ---
ee: ---
PDB: ---
Notes: No catalysis