Artificial metalloenzymes, with their high selectivity and specificity combined with a wide scope of reactivity and substrates, constitute an original approach for catalyst development. Different strategies have been proposed for their elaboration, proceeding from modification of natural enzymes using bioengineering methods to de novo protein design. Another bio-inspired methodology for the development of hybrid catalysts consists in the incorporation of coordination complexes into biomolecules, with the aim to upgrade their catalytic abilities. In these systems, the reaction performed by the naked catalyst is modulated by the well-defined structure of the host biomolecule. This conveys added value to the catalyst, such as enantioselectivity or chemoselectivity. DNA, apo-enzymes, proteins and peptides have been engaged in this approach, affording a wide diversity of reactivities and substrates. The resulting systems can then be improved by combined chemical and bioengineering optimization, allowing access to powerful catalysts. Because this approach can virtually be applied to any biomolecule or coordination complex, the elaboration of bio-based hybrid catalysts seems promising for advance in catalysis.
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