Directed evolution of nonheme iron enzymes to access abiological radical-relay C(sp3)-H azidation

Yesterday Marc Garcia-Borràs and Jordi Soler reported with their co-workers a new publication in Science, the first time that the IQCC publishes in this respectable journal. Previously, researchers of IQCC published papers in Nature: Javi Iglesias (2018), Sílvia Osuna and Ferran Feixas (2019). and former members published in either Nature/Science before: Oriol Planas (Science, 2020), Davide Angelone (Science, 2019), Maricel Torrent (Nature, 2017)Miquel Torrent-Sucarrat (Science, 2017), and now this list is extended by Marc and Jordi’s latest contribution!

In this work, they report the directed evolution of a non-heme iron enzyme to access new abiological enzymatic activities using a combination of computational and experimental protocols. In particular, a new radical-relay C(sp3)-H azidation reaction has been installed into a non-heme iron enzyme, achieving high catalytic turnovers and high enantioselectivity. This is an important and synthetically useful reaction, which opens the door for the future development of new abiological, radical-mediated reactions catalyzed by enzymes.
Dr. Garcia-Borràs is co-corresponding author of the study, which has been led by Prof. Xiongyi Huang from the John Hopkins University. This study has also the participation of Prof. Yisong (Alex) Guo’s group from Carnegie Mellon University. This project is a core part of the research program that Dr. Garcia-Borràs leads at the IQCC, which is devoted to the use of computational methods in combination with experiments to characterize and design new abiological enzymatic activities and synthetically useful biocatalysts: “Biocatalytic intermediates for the discovery and design of new enzymatic activities“.

The paper was published in Science:

J. Rui, Q. Zhao, A.J. Huls, J. Soler, J.C. Paris, Z. Chen, V. Reshetnikov, Y. Yang, Y. Guo, M. Garcia-Borràs and X. Huang
“Directed evolution of nonheme iron enzymes to access abiological radical-relay C(sp3 )-H azidation”
Science 2022, 376, 869-874
DOI: 10.1126/science.abj2830

Girona, May 20, 2022
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