Engineering and emerging applications of artificial metalloenzymes with whole cells


Malte Wittwer#, Ulrich Markel#, Johannes Schiffels, Jun Okuda, Daniel F. Sauer*, Ulrich Schwaneberg*, Nature Catalysis, 2021, 4, 814–827, DOI: 10.1038/s41929-021-00673-3

In this review, we summarize recent applications of artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) in combination with whole cells and adress approaches to tailor ArMs in whole cells by protein engineering methodologies.

The incorporation of artificial metal cofactors into protein scaffolds leads to a new class of catalysts referred to artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs). Combining ArMs with whole cells creates whole-cell systems with a reaction scope unparalleled in nature. In this review, we summarize recent success stories of ArMs in combination with whole cells in application areas such as biosensing, drug therapy, synthetic biology, and industrial microbiology. We also cover the possibilities to integrate ArMs in whole cells to apply directed-evolution methodologies. In addition, we address the challenges of using ArMs in a whole-cell context, such as catalyst inactivation, and highlight potential developments in the future.

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This work was financially supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through the International Research Training Group ‘Selectivity in Chemo- and Biocatalysis’ (SeleCa) (IRTG 1628) and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) (FKZ: 031B0297).

  ArM engineering workflow Copyright: © Springer Nature Limited

Figure. ArM engineering in whole cells allow high-throughput directed-evolution methodologies and can be used to tailor ArMs for specific applications in the fields of drug therapy, biosensing, synthetic biology, and industrial microbiology.