Research articles

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  • The simultaneous electroreduction of carbon dioxide and nitrate is a promising and environmentally benign route to urea production, but achieving high selectivity for urea electrosynthesis via this route remains challenging. Here, CuOxZnOy electrodes are shown to enable the efficient and selective production of urea under mild conditions, with the efficiency found to strongly depend on the metal ratio within the catalyst composition.

    • Dimitra Anastasiadou
    • Bianca Ligt
    • Marta Costa Figueiredo
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Heterogeneous reaction of NO2 with atmospheric humic like substances is a potentially important source of volatile organic compounds, but the role of ubiquitous water-soluble aerosol components in this chemistry remains largely unexplored. Here, secondary electrospray ionization ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry is used to obtain real-time measurements of VOCs formed during the heterogeneous reaction of gas phase NO2 and a solution containing gallic acid as a model for moderately acidic aerosol particles.

    • Pan Li
    • Rachel Gemayel
    • Sasho Gligorovski
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Fluorinated ketones can function as covalent warheads applied in the design of reversible covalent inhibitors, however, the reactivity of certain fluorinated moieties remains underexplored. Here, the authors investigate the species-specific lipophilicities of fluorinated geminal diketones in multicomponent equilibrium systems and reveal their potential as multifaceted warheads for reversible covalent drugs.

    • Ishay Columbus
    • Lee Ghindes-Azaria
    • Yossi Zafrani
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Co-electrolysis of nitrogen oxides and carbon oxides has been studied for over two decades but remains largely inefficient with numerous persisting knowledge voids. Here, the authors report a thermodynamic basis for modelling urea production via co-electrolysis using several exchange-correlation functionals, highlighting the importance of gas-phase error assessment in computational electrocatalysis.

    • Ricardo Urrego-Ortiz
    • Santiago Builes
    • Federico Calle-Vallejo
    ArticleOpen Access
  • One-carbon insertion into N–O bonds is widely exploited in organic synthesis, but synthetic protocols for this rely on hazardous diazo precursors that are difficult to access. Here, copper-catalyzed intermolecular formal (5 + 1) annulation of 1,5-diynes with 1,2,5-oxadiazoles is shown to facilitate one-carbon insertion into heterocyclic N–O bonds without the need for diazo precursors.

    • Can-Ming Chen
    • Ye-Nan Yang
    • Long-Wu Ye
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Electrolytes with high concentrations are desirable for high-performance electrochemical devices, but their microstructures are still not well understood. Here, the authors study electrolyte structure and correlate it to ionic conductivity for four nitrate-based electrolyte solutions over wide concentration and temperature ranges, and derive a simple model with only two parameters and high accuracy to correlate conductivity with molar concentration and temperature.

    • Hilal Al-Salih
    • Elena A. Baranova
    • Yaser Abu-Lebdeh
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Microbial enzymes are capable of degrading certain synthetic polymers, with most polyethylene terephthalate (PET) degrading enzymes known to derive from bacteria or fungi. Here, the authors describe an archaeal originating feruloyl-esterase PET46 enzyme with a flexible lid domain and PET degradation capability.

    • Pablo Perez-Garcia
    • Jennifer Chow
    • Wolfgang R. Streit
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Proteins that are able to switch between different folds correlate their structural and functional changes, however, crowding effects on fold-switching proteins are not fully understood. Here, the authors study the fold switch of the protein G domains GA and GB using a structure-based dual-basin model, revealing a crowding-induced GA-to-GB fold switch, and elucidating the role of a disordered range in GA.

    • Saman Bazmi
    • Bahman Seifi
    • Stefan Wallin
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Iron–sulfur clusters are important cofactors involved in a wide range of protein functions, however, the incorporation of FeS clusters into proteins remains underexplored. Here, the authors report the crystal structure of a Zn-containing form of a Rieske protein, in which ZnCl2 binds in an FeS-binding site, representing a putative immature form of a Rieske protein prior to FeS insertion.

    • Erika Tsutsumi
    • Satomi Niwa
    • Kazuki Takeda
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Monitoring glycosylation is a key quality control for protein therapeutics, however, most established methods such as hydrophilic interaction chromatography with fluorescence detection (HILIC-Fld) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) require time-consuming procedures and complicated data analysis. Here, the authors apply high performance anion exchange chromatography coupled to pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) for the batch-to-batch monitoring of glycans on complex antigens with a simplified procedure.

    • Janelle Sauvageau
    • Izel Koyuturk
    • Yves Durocher
    ArticleOpen Access
  • AlphaFold2 is a popular protein structure prediction tool, however, achieving high accuracy remains challenging for certain proteins that share fewer homologs with the database. Here, the authors develop a new version of the MULTICOM system to improve the multi-sequence alignment, structural template, model ranking, model refinement, and hence the accuracy of AlphaFold2 prediction.

    • Jian Liu
    • Zhiye Guo
    • Jianlin Cheng
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Spirosorbicillinols A–C are fungal natural products that display various biological properties, but their total synthesis has yet to be accomplished. Here, the authors report the total synthesis of spirosorbicillinols A–C based on a chemo-enzymatic transformation of sorbicillin into sorbicillinol, which is fused to synthetically prepared scytolide and isomers by a Diels-Alder cycloaddition reaction.

    • Tobias M. Milzarek
    • Tobias A. M. Gulder
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is associated with the misfolding of hSOD1 and C71G-hPFN1, however, the exact mechanism responsible for ALS remains poorly understood. Here, NMR spectroscopy reveals that ATP can induce the folding of hSOD1 and C71G-hPFN1, inhibiting protein aggregation and enhancing their thermodynamic stability.

    • Jian Kang
    • Liangzhong Lim
    • Jianxing Song
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Understanding the mechanical properties of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) is crucial for their industrial application, but the compressibility of structurally dynamic MOFs under pressure remains unclear. Here, in situ variable pressure powder X-ray diffraction experiments on two families of dynamic MOFs find that increased structural flexibility results in enhanced mechanical resilience.

    • Florencia A. Son
    • Kira M. Fahy
    • Omar K. Farha
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Cross-dehydrogenative coupling is an efficient route for C–C bond formation by direct C–H functionalization, however, this protocol usually requires stoichiometric oxidants under harsh reaction conditions. Here, the authors report a cross-dehydrogenative Minisci-alkylation using a heterogeneous Rh2O3/GaN photocatalyst and a benzophenone photosensitizer under oxidant-free conditions.

    • Hyotaik Kang
    • Lida Tan
    • Chao-Jun Li
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Polyphosphoesters (PPEs) are versatile polymers utilized in tissue engineering, as electrolytes, or flame retardants, but copolymers of different PPE subclasses are hardly explored. Here, the authors report general protocols for the organocatalyzed copolymerization of four different PPE subclasses, resulting in copolymers with varying amphiphilicity and gradient strength.

    • Timo Rheinberger
    • Ulrich Flögel
    • Frederik R. Wurm
    ArticleOpen Access
  • High-performance liquid chromatography is widely used to characterise pH-triggered drug release from nanomaterials, but is limited by the specific physicochemical properties of the analytes. Here, the authors investigate the application of surface plasmon resonance biosensing, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and capillary electrophoresis to evaluate the release kinetics of diverse drugs from a polymeric drug delivery system.

    • Alena Libánská
    • Tomáš Špringer
    • Tomáš Etrych
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The isoperfluoropropyl group (i-C3F7) is an analogue of the trifluoromethyl group (CF3) featuring a stronger electron-withdrawing effect and more steric hindrance, giving it a unique role in synthetic chemistry, however, direct isoperfluoropropylation remains challenging. Here, the authors develop a highly reactive electrophilic hypervalent-iodine based i-C3F7 reagent and demonstrate its use for the efficient isoperfluoropropylation of aromatic C–H bonds.

    • Yaxing Wu
    • Yunchen Jiang
    • Chao Chen
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Using metal coordination to assemble carbon nanodots (CND) into clusters can enhance their photophysical properties for applications in sensing and biomedicine. Here, carboxylate groups on the surface of carbon nanodots serve as ligands for the coordination of manganese ions, enabling the assembly of optically and magnetically active CND clusters in a one-step microwave-assisted synthesis in water.

    • Nina Gomez-Blanco
    • Maurizio Prato
    ArticleOpen Access