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Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry






Light-driven processes, Electron transfer, P450 biocatalysis, Chemoenzymatic reactions, Photocaged complexes, Protein assemblies


Inorganic Chemistry


With a growing interest in utilizing visible light to drive biocatalytic processes, several light-harvesting units and approaches have been employed to harness the synthetic potential of heme monooxygenases and carry out selective oxyfunctionalization of a wide range of substrates. While the fields of cytochrome P450 and Ru(II) photochemistry have separately been prolific, it is not until the turn of the 21st century that they converged. Non-covalent and subsequently covalently attached Ru(II) complexes were used to promote rapid intramolecular electron transfer in bacterial P450 enzymes. Photocatalytic activity with Ru(II)-modified P450 enzymes was achieved under reductive conditions with a judicious choice of a sacrificial electron donor. The initial concept of Ru(II)-modified P450 enzymes was further improved using protein engineering, photosensitizer functionalization and was successfully applied to other P450 enzymes. In this review, we wish to present the recent contributions from our group and others in utilizing Ru(II) complexes coupled with P450 enzymes in the broad context of photobiocatalysis, protein assemblies and chemoenzymatic reactions. The merging of chemical catalysts with the synthetic potential of P450 enzymes has led to the development of several chemoenzymatic approaches. Moreover, strained Ru(II) compounds have been shown to selectively inhibit P450 enzymes by releasing aromatic heterocycle containing molecules upon visible light excitation taking advantage of the rapid ligand loss feature in those complexes.

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