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Nitrene Transfer Catalyzed by a Non-Heme Iron Enzyme and Enhanced by Non-Native Small-Molecule Cofactors

submitted on 30.10.2019, 18:46 and posted on 05.11.2019, 23:01 by Nathaniel Goldberg, Anders M. Knight, Ruijie Zhang, Frances H. Arnold
Transition-metal catalysis is a powerful tool for the construction of chemical bonds. Here we show that a non-heme iron enzyme can catalyze olefin aziridination and nitrene C–H insertion, and that these activities can be improved by directed evolution. The non-heme iron center allows for facile modification of the primary coordination sphere by addition of metal-coordinating molecules, enabling control over enzyme activity and selectivity using small molecules.


NIH T32 GM07616

NIH T32 GM112592

NSF MCB-1513007

NSF DGE-1144469


Email Address of Submitting Author


California Institute of Technology


United States of America

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

A provisional patent has been filed through the California Institute of Technology based on the results presented here.

Version Notes

Version 1.0