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Volume 603 Issue 7899, 3 March 2022

Enhanced enzyme

Biaryl compounds, which contain two connected aromatic rings, are common throughout chemistry, medicine and materials science. Joining together the individual molecular components to form these compounds can be a challenge. In this week’s issue, Alison Narayan and her colleagues report the design and engineering of enzyme biocatalysts that help to connect the necessary building blocks through their carbon–hydrogen bonds. The researchers used engineered forms of cytochrome P450 enzymes as the catalyst, and as a result were able to transform a low-yielding, unselective reaction into one that efficiently joined phenols to form biaryl compounds with control over both which C–H bonds are coupled and the stereochemistry of the products.

Cover image: Rajani Arora/University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute

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