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Stereoselective Olefin Cyclopropanation under Aerobic Conditions with an Artificial Enzyme Incorporating an Iron-Chlorin e6 Cofactor

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posted on 2017-10-09, 13:51 authored by Gopeekrishnan Sreenilayam, Eric J. Moore, Viktoria Steck, Rudi Fasan
Myoglobin has recently emerged as a promising biocatalyst for catalyzing carbene-mediated cyclopropanation, a synthetically valuable transformation not found in nature. Having naturally evolved for binding dioxygen, the carbene transferase activity of this metalloprotein is severely inhibited by it, imposing the need for strictly anaerobic conditions to conduct these reactions. In this report, we describe how substitution of the native heme cofactor with an iron-chlorin e6 complex enabled the development of a biocatalyst capable of promoting the cyclopropanation of vinylarenes with high catalytic efficiency (up to 6970 TON), turnover rate (>2000 turnovers/min), and stereoselectivity (up to 99% de and ee) in the presence of oxygen. The artificial metalloenzyme can be recombinantly expressed in bacterial cells, enabling its application also in the context of whole-cell biotransformations. This work makes available a robust and easy-to-use oxygen-tolerant biocatalyst for asymmetric cyclopropanations and demonstrates the value of porphyrin ligand substitution as a strategy for tuning and enhancing the catalytic properties of hemoproteins in the context of abiological reactions.

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