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Molecules 2014, 19(12), 20751-20767;

Bio-Inspired Nitrile Hydration by Peptidic Ligands Based on L-Cysteine, L-Methionine or L-Penicillamine and Pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic Acid

School of Chemistry F11, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 September 2014 / Revised: 6 November 2014 / Accepted: 16 November 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peptide Chemistry)
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Nitrile hydratase (NHase, EC is a metalloenzyme which catalyses the conversion of nitriles to amides. The high efficiency and broad substrate range of NHase have led to the successful application of this enzyme as a biocatalyst in the industrial syntheses of acrylamide and nicotinamide and in the bioremediation of nitrile waste. Crystal structures of both cobalt(III)- and iron(III)-dependent NHases reveal an unusual metal binding motif made up from six sequential amino acids and comprising two amide nitrogens from the peptide backbone and three cysteine-derived sulfur ligands, each at a different oxidation state (thiolate, sulfenate and sulfinate). Based on the active site geometry revealed by these crystal structures, we have designed a series of small-molecule ligands which integrate essential features of the NHase metal binding motif into a readily accessible peptide environment. We report the synthesis of ligands based on a pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid scaffold and L-cysteine, L-S-methylcysteine, L-methionine or L-penicillamine. These ligands have been combined with cobalt(III) and iron(III) and tested as catalysts for biomimetic nitrile hydration. The highest levels of activity are observed with the L-penicillamine ligand which, in combination with cobalt(III), converts acetonitrile to acetamide at 1.25 turnovers and benzonitrile to benzamide at 1.20 turnovers. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrile hydratase; peptidomimetics; metalloenzyme; amino acid nitrile hydratase; peptidomimetics; metalloenzyme; amino acid

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Byrne, C.; Houlihan, K.M.; Devi, P.; Jensen, P.; Rutledge, P.J. Bio-Inspired Nitrile Hydration by Peptidic Ligands Based on L-Cysteine, L-Methionine or L-Penicillamine and Pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic Acid. Molecules 2014, 19, 20751-20767.

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