Garcia-Borràs, Marc

Biocatalytic intermediates for the discovery and design of new enzymatic activities

Contact info:
Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs
Tel. (+34) 650 28 71 48


Selected publications

Sebastian Gergel‡, Jordi Soler‡, Alina Klein, Kai H. Schülke, Bernhard Hauer, Marc Garcia-Borràs*, Stephan C. Hammer*
Engineered cytochrome P450 for direct arylalkene-to-ketone oxidation via highly reactive carbocation intermediates
Nat Catal, 2023, 6, 606–617
DOI: 10.1038/s41929-023-00979-4

Carla Calvó-Tusell‡, Zhen Liu‡,*, Kai Chen, Frances H. Arnold, Marc Garcia-Borràs*
Reversing the Enantioselectivity of Enzymatic Carbene N–H Insertion Through Mechanism-Guided Protein Engineering
Angew Chem Int Ed, 2023, 62, e202303879
DOI: 10.1002/anie.202303879

Jordi Soler‡, Sebastian Gergel‡, Cindy Klaus, Stephan C. Hammer*, Marc Garcia-Borràs*
Enzymatic Control over Reactive Intermediates Enables Direct Oxidation of Alkenes to Carbonyls by a P450 Iron-Oxo Species
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2022, vol.144, iss.35, p.15954–15968
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c02567

Jinyan Rui, Qun Zhao, Anthony J. Huls, Jordi Soler, Jared C. Paris, Zhenhong Chen, Viktor Reshetnikov, Yunfang Yang, Yisong Guo*, Marc Garcia-Borràs*, Xiongyi Huang*
Directed evolution of nonheme iron enzymes to access abiological radical-relay C(sp3)?H azidation
Science, 2022, vol.376, iss.6595, p.869-874
DOI: 10.1126/science.abj2830

Manfred T. Reetz*, Marc Garcia-Borràs*
The Unexplored Importance of Fleeting Chiral Intermediates in Enzyme-Catalyzed Reactions
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2021, vol.143, iss.37, p.14939-14950. (Perspective)
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c04551

Marc Garcia-Borràs*, S. B. Jennifer Kan, Russell D. Lewis, Allison Tang, Gonzalo Jimenez-Osés, Frances H. Arnold*, K. N. Houk*
Origin and Control of Chemoselectivity in Cytochrome c Catalyzed Carbene Transfer into Si–H and N–H bonds
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2021, vol.143, iss.18, p.7114-7123
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c02146

+ Publications

Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs

Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs (b. 1988, Sant Feliu de Guíxols) obtained his PhD with academic honors at the University of Girona (2012-2015, Cum Laude, Extraordinary PhD Award), under the supervision of Prof. Miquel Solà and Dr. Josep M. Luis. He worked on the computational study of the structure and reactivity of endohedral (metallo-)fullerenes. After a short (6 months) postdoc stay in the group of Dr. Osuna (UdG, Spain), he joined the group of Prof. K. N. Houk at UCLA (USA) as a postdoc for 3 years (Jan. 2016 – Jan. 2019) supported by a prestigious Ramón Areces Postdoctoral Fellowship (to work on the computational modelling and design of new (metallo-)enzyme catalyzed reactions. He was awarded the “2018 UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Postdoctoral Research Award”. In February 2019 he returned to Spain as a Juan de la Cierva -Incorporación (JdC-I) research fellow to start his independent research program on biocatalysis at the UdG. Very recently, he was awarded a Beatriu the Pino?s MSCA-COFUND grant (Feb.-2020), and he is also PI of a Spanish MICINN “I+D+i de Generación de Conocimiento 2019” project (PID2019-111300GA-I00, 3 years 01/06/2020 – 31/05/2023). Marc was finalist at the European Young Chemistry Awards (EYCA) 2020 (EuChemS) Early Career Researcher level.
In September 2020 he became an independent Principal Investigator at the IQCC (UdG).

Research overview

Enzymatic reactive intermediates are species involved in biocatalytic cycles that are not so stable and exhibit short lifetimes. Catalytic promiscuity refers to the ability of an enzyme to catalyze, in addition to its native function, reactions involving different substrates and/or that proceed via different transition states and different reaction pathways. Enzymatic intermediates are sometimes found to be the source of enzyme catalytic promiscuity, since different reaction pathways can diverge from these generated species. Consequently, controlling the behavior of such reactive species could provide new routes to access to new non-natural biocatalytic functions.
In this research program new computational protocols to study and characterize reactive intermediates formed over the course of enzyme catalytic pathways will be developed. These protocols will rely on different multiscale computational approaches that will be combined to account for different factors that play key roles on the formation and stabilization of enzymatic reactive intermediates and that control their subsequent reactivity. State-of-the-art computational techniques including DFT calculations, Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations, QM/MM calculations, and direct quasi-classical reaction dynamics MD simulations, among others, will be part of such protocols. In particular, enzymatic systems involving metalloenzymatic and photobiocatalytic intermediates will be targeted.
Also, molecular biology experiments and structural chemical characterization of the biocatalytic products will be performed in order to assess the computational predictions and designs, providing further guidance for computational modelling.
Finally, the knowledge acquired will be used to computationally design new enzymes for catalyzing new-to-nature reactions interesting for synthetic purposes in a more rational and efficient manner.


Principal Investigator

Marc Garcia-Borràs

Ramón y Cajal Researcher

Staff and Postdocs

Jordi Soler


- M. Garcia-Borràs

PhD and MACMoM students

Cristina Berga

PhD Student (IF-UdG)

- M. García-Borràs
- F. Feixas
- S. Simon

Helena Giramé

PhD Student (FI)

- M. García-Borràs
- F. Feixas


MICIU Projects. MICIU Proyectos I+D

Project: Caracterización multiescalar de intermedios reactivos para el descubrimiento y diseño de nuevas actividades biocatalíticas
Researcher: Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs
Reference: PID2019-111300GA-I00
Funding: 72.600 €
Period: 01/06/2020 – 31/05/2023

Ramón y Cajal

Project: Programa Ramón y Cajal
Researcher: : Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs
Reference: RYC2020-028628-I
Funding: 324.250 €
Period: 01/02/2022 – 31/01/2027

MCIU projects

Project: Modelado Computacional Integrativo de Procesos Bioquímicos y Biocatalíticos: Desde la Comprensión hasta el Diseño
Researcher: Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs
Reference: PID2022-141676NB-I00
Funding: 168.750 €
Period: 01/09/2023 – 31/08/2026
Project: Diseño y caracterización computacional de fotoelectro-biocatalisis heterogenea soportada por fotoelectrodos
Researcher: : Dr. Ferran Feixas and Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs
Reference: TED2021-130173B-C42
Funding: 125.350 €
Period: 01/12/2022 – 30/11/2024

Other project

Project: REPSOL
Researcher: Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs
Funding: 22.971 €
Period: 2023-2024


Marc Garcia-Borràs and Laia Vicens receive Marcial Moreno-Mañas Award and Josep Castells award of RSEQ-Cat

Marc Garcia-Borràs receives Marcial Moreno-Mañas Award 2023 for young researchers of RSEQ-Cat This

Biocatalytic strategy for the construction of sp3-rich polycyclic compounds from directed evolution and computational modelling

Catalysis with engineered enzymes has provided more efficient routes for the production of

Enantio- and Diastereodivergent Cyclopropanation of Allenes by Directed Evolution of an Iridium-Containing Cytochrome

Alkylidene cyclopropanes (ACPs) are valuable synthetic intermediates because of their constrained structure and

Photobiocatalysts tame nitrogen-centred radicals. A highlight in Nature Catalysis

Dr. Garcia-Borràs has been invited to write a highlight in the News &