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Published November 25, 2016 | Accepted Version + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Directed evolution of cytochrome c for carbon–silicon bond formation: Bringing silicon to life


Organic compounds containing silicon are important for a number of applications, from polymers to semiconductors. The catalysts used for creating carbon-silicon bonds, however, often require expensive trace metals or have limited lifetimes. Borrowing from the ability of some metallo-enzymes to catalyze other rare carbene insertion reactions, Kan et al. used heme proteins to form carbon-silicon bonds across a range of conditions and substrates (see the Perspective by Klare and Oestreich). Directed evolution experiments using cytochrome c from Rhodothermus marinus improved the reaction to be 15 times more efficient than industrial catalysts.

Additional Information

© 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 22 July 2016; accepted 11 October 2016. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation, Office of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems SusChEM Initiative (grant CBET-1403077); the Caltech Innovation Initiative (CI2) Program; and the Jacobs Institute for Molecular Medicine at Caltech. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding organizations. R.D.L. is supported by a NIH–National Research Service Award training grant (5 T32 GM07616). We thank A. Buller, S. Dodani, S. Hammer, and C. Prier for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript and N. Peck for screening P450 variants. We are grateful to S. Virgil and the Caltech Center for Catalysis and Chemical Synthesis and to N. Torian and the Caltech Mass Spectrometry Laboratory for generous analytical support; the Beckman Institute Laser Resource Center (BILRC) at Caltech for use of their CD spectrometer; B. Stoltz for use of the polarimeter; and H. Gray for providing the pEC86 plasmid. A provisional patent application has been filed through the California Institute of Technology based on the results presented here. All data necessary to support this paper's conclusions are available in the supplementary materials.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms836028.pdf

Supplemental Material - Kan.SM.pdf


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