Metalloproteins and metalloenzymes play important roles in biological systems by using the limited metal ions, complexes, and clusters that are associated with the protein matrix. The design of artificial metalloproteins and metalloenzymes not only reveals the structure and function relationship of natural proteins, but also enables the synthesis of artificial proteins and enzymes with improved properties and functions. Acknowledging the progress in rational design from single to multiple active sites, this review focuses on recent achievements in the design of artificial metalloproteins and metalloenzymes with metal clusters, including zinc clusters, cadmium clusters, iron–sulfur clusters, and copper–sulfur clusters, as well as noble metal clusters and others. These metal clusters were designed in both native and de novo protein scaffolds for structural roles, electron transfer, or catalysis. Some synthetic metal clusters as functional models of native enzymes are also discussed. These achievements provide valuable insights for deep understanding of the natural proteins and enzymes, and practical clues for the further design of artificial enzymes with functions comparable or even beyond those of natural counterparts.
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