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Creators/Authors contains: "Fasan, Rudi"

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  1. Abstract

    Hemoproteins have recently emerged as promising biocatalysts for new-to-nature carbene transfer reactions. However, mechanistic understanding of the interplay between productive and unproductive pathways in these processes is limited. Using spectroscopic, structural, and computational methods, we investigate the mechanism of a myoglobin-catalyzed cyclopropanation reaction with diazoketones. These studies shed light on the nature and kinetics of key catalytic steps in this reaction, including the formation of an early heme-bound diazo complex intermediate, the rate-determining nature of carbene formation, and the cyclopropanation mechanism. Our analyses further reveal the existence of a complex mechanistic manifold for this reaction that includes a competing pathway resulting in the formation of an N-bound carbene adduct of the heme cofactor, which was isolated and characterized by X-ray crystallography, UV-Vis, and Mössbauer spectroscopy. This species can regenerate the active biocatalyst, constituting a non-productive, yet non-destructive detour from the main catalytic cycle. These findings offer a valuable framework for both mechanistic analysis and design of hemoprotein-catalyzed carbene transfer reactions.

     
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  2. Organophosphonate compounds have represented a rich source of biologically active compounds, including enzyme inhibitors, antibiotics, and antimalarial agents. Here, we report the development of a highly stereoselective strategy for olefin cyclopropanation in the presence of a phosphonyl diazo reagent as carbene precursor. In combination with a ‘substrate walking’ protein engineering strategy, two sets of efficient and enantiodivergent myoglobin-based biocatalysts were developed for the synthesis of both (1 R ,2 S ) and (1 S ,2 R ) enantiomeric forms of the desired cyclopropylphosphonate ester products. This methodology enables the efficient transformation of a broad range of vinylarene substrates at a preparative scale ( i.e. gram scale) with up to 99% de and ee. Mechanistic studies provide insights into factors that contribute to make this reaction inherently more challenging than hemoprotein-catalyzed olefin cyclopropanation with ethyl diazoacetate investigated previously. This work expands the range of synthetically useful, enzyme-catalyzed transformations and paves the way to the development of metalloprotein catalysts for abiological carbene transfer reactions involving non-canonical carbene donor reagents. 
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  3. Engineered myoglobins have recently gained attention for their ability to catalyze a variety of abiological carbene transfer reactions including the functionalization of amines via carbene insertion into N–H bonds. However, the scope of myoglobin and other hemoprotein-based biocatalysts in the context of this transformation has been largely limited to aniline derivatives as the amine substrates and ethyl diazoacetate as the carbene donor reagent. In this report, we describe the development of an engineered myoglobin-based catalyst that is useful for promoting carbene N–H insertion reactions across a broad range of substituted benzylamines and α-diazo acetates with high efficiency (82–99% conversion), elevated catalytic turnovers (up to 7,000), and excellent chemoselectivity for the desired single insertion product (up to 99%). The scope of this transformation could be extended to cyclic aliphatic amines. These studies expand the biocatalytic toolbox available for the selective formation of C–N bonds, which are ubiquitous in many natural and synthetic bioactive compounds. 
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