Metallopeptide catalysts and artificial metalloenzymes containing unnatural amino acids

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2015 Apr;25:27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2014.12.016. Epub 2014 Dec 26.


Metallopeptide catalysts and artificial metalloenzymes built from peptide scaffolds and catalytically active metal centers possess a number of exciting properties that could be exploited for selective catalysis. Control over metal catalyst secondary coordination spheres, compatibility with library based methods for optimization and evolution, and biocompatibility stand out in this regard. A wide range of unnatural amino acids (UAAs) have been incorporated into peptide and protein scaffolds using several distinct methods, and the resulting UAAs containing scaffolds can be used to create novel hybrid metal-peptide catalysts. Promising levels of selectivity have been demonstrated for several hybrid catalysts, and these provide a strong impetus and important lessons for the design of and optimization of hybrid catalysts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids*
  • Catalysis
  • Drug Design
  • Enzymes / chemistry*
  • Enzymes / metabolism
  • Metalloproteins / chemistry*
  • Metalloproteins / metabolism
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Enzymes
  • Metalloproteins
  • Peptides