New semi-artificial catalysts

Understanding enzymatic reactivity on the molecular level is crucial for the future development of efficient green catalysts for difficult organic reactions such as C-H activation or CO2 reduction. Inspired by nature, my laboratory mimics structure and function of cofactor-protein complexes with (semi-)artificial metal complexes.[1,2]

For mimicking protein`s hydrophobic active site, my group synthesizes small metal-complexes and semi-artificial cofactor complexes and immobilizes them on hydrophobic solid-supports through non-covalent interactions. Prototypes of these systems include the first structural models of the active site and lower-ligand binding site of adenosylcobalamin-dependent methionine synthase. In the future, I plan to step forward from structural to functional models for catalyzing difficult [1,2]-rearrangement reactions.

​​​​[1] ​​ Immobilised vitamin B12 as a biomimetic model for base-off/histidine-on coordination
C. Männel-Croisé and F. Zelder, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 11249.

M. Sonnay, T. Fox, O. Blacque and F. Zelder, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 3836.