NATURE: Enzymes team up with light-activated catalysts

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 15/8/2018

Description

The development of catalytic reactions is a dominant theme in chemistry, especially in industry, where major efforts are under way to develop large-scale chemical processes that are sustainable and avoid producing unnecessary waste1. Chemical reactions can be accelerated using many types of catalyst, including metals (or their salts or complexes), small organic molecules, enzymes and light-activated catalysts. Catalysts of all types have advanced to the extent that two or more catalysts can be combined to promote cascade reactions — interconnected transformations, carried out in a single operation, to yield products with selectivities that would be difficult to achieve using the catalysts independently in sequential steps. In a paper in Nature, Litman et al.2 report that the combination of an enzyme with a light-activated catalyst starts a cascade reaction that produces compounds that are versatile intermediates for organic synthesis.

Media contributions

TitleEnzymes team up with light-activated catalysts
Media name/outletNature
CountryUnited States
Date15/08/18
DescriptionThe development of catalytic reactions is a dominant theme in chemistry, especially in industry, where major efforts are under way to develop large-scale chemical processes that are sustainable and avoid producing unnecessary waste1. Chemical reactions can be accelerated using many types of catalyst, including metals (or their salts or complexes), small organic molecules, enzymes and light-activated catalysts. Catalysts of all types have advanced to the extent that two or more catalysts can be combined to promote cascade reactions — interconnected transformations, carried out in a single operation, to yield products with selectivities that would be difficult to achieve using the catalysts independently in sequential steps. In a paper in Nature, Litman et al.2 report that the combination of an enzyme with a light-activated catalyst starts a cascade reaction that produces compounds that are versatile intermediates for organic synthesis.
URLhttps://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05933-0
PersonsNicholas Turner