Inspiration from Nature: Influence of Engineered Ligand Scaffolds and Auxiliary Factors on the Reactivity of Biomimetic Oxidants

Gourab Mukherjee, Jagnyesh K. Satpathy, Umesh K. Bagha, M. Qadri E. Mubarak, Chivukula V. Sastri, Sam P. de Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Enzymes are highly efficient catalysts in Nature that often react with high stereo-, chemo-, and regioselectivity. Usually, enzymes achieve this selectivity through substrate binding and positioning in the active site. The second-coordination sphere effects (also called noncovalent interactions) position the substrate and oxidant in close vicinity, and their effects include electrostatic interactions, hydrogen-bonding interactions, salt-bridges, and also long-range charge-effects from bound cations and anions. Each of these environmental perturbations can affect the kinetics and selectivity of reactions differently. Over the past couple of years, a variety of biomimetic model complexes have been developed and designed that have a similar first-coordination sphere to mononuclear iron-containing enzymes. However, sometimes the reactivity patterns of the biomimetic models in solution are different from the analogous enzymatic systems, and often the selectivity of the reaction is lost. To understand the functional differences between enzymes and biomimetic models, large catalytic clusters have been developed that incorporate second-coordination sphere effects that influence spectroscopic features as well as reactivity patterns. In this Review, we summarize and highlight recent advances in biomimetic chemistry on the creation and design of iron catalysts and the insights that have been obtained when elaborate ligand features are added, which influence the substrate approach to the catalytic center. We start with a highlight of the axial and distal ligand effects of metal centers and how these can be perturbed by hydrogen bonding as well as steric restraints. The syntheses of the active oxidants through the addition of a proton-donating or -accepting groups to the structure have also been discussed in detail in this article. As shown in this work, second-coordination sphere effects can be useful not only to trap and characterize short-lived intermediates but also to enable high selectivity and specificity of a chemical reaction in analogy to enzymatic systems. These biomimetic models appear highly useful for biotechnological and engineering applications with reasonable turnover numbers and consequently have great potential for the future of stereo- and chemoselective synthetic catalytic reactions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number15
Early online date19 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jul 2021


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