Dvir Harris, Zuckerman Israeli Postdoctoral Alumni Scholar, publishes paper in J|A|C|S – Journal of the American Chemical Society
Non-natural light-driven enzymatic reactivity was recently developed to perform the highly stereoselective reactions required for pharmaceutical synthesis. However, photoenzymes require high-intensity light to function because of the poor absorption properties of their photoactive intermediates. Inspired by the modular architecture of photosynthesis, we designed a conjugate composed of a covalently linked photoenzyme and a light antenna to separate light capture from catalysis.
Spectroscopic characterization of the conjugate showed the presence of efficient energy transfer from the light-harvesting components to the photoenzyme. In the presence of energy transfer, a ∼4-fold increase in product yield was observed for intramolecular hydroalkylation of alkenes, and reactivity was enabled for intermolecular hydroalkylation of alkenes. These improvements establish the power of incorporating nature’s design into non-natural photoenzymatic catalysis.