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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Site-Selective Functionalization of (sp3 )C-H Bonds Catalyzed by Artificial Metalloenzymes Containing an Iridium-Porphyrin Cofactor.

  • Author(s): Gu, Yang;
  • Natoli, Sean N;
  • Liu, Zhennan;
  • Clark, Douglas S;
  • Hartwig, John F
  • et al.

The selective functionalization of one C-H bond over others in nearly identical steric and electronic environments can facilitate the construction of complex molecules. We report site-selective functionalizations of C-H bonds, differentiated solely by remote substituents, catalyzed by artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) that are generated from the combination of an evolvable P450 scaffold and an iridium-porphyrin cofactor. The generated systems catalyze the insertion of carbenes into the C-H bonds of a range of phthalan derivatives containing substituents that render the two methylene positions in each phthalan inequivalent. These reactions occur with site-selectivity ratios of up to 17.8:1 and, in most cases, with pairs of enzyme mutants that preferentially form each of the two constitutional isomers. This study demonstrates the potential of abiotic reactions catalyzed by metalloenzymes to functionalize C-H bonds with site selectivity that is difficult to achieve with small-molecule catalysts.

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