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In Search of Biomimetic Catalysts: Exploring Sequence-Reactivity Space with Unnatural Oligomeric Backbones

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Technical Report,20 Sep 2014,19 Mar 2015

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University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison United States

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Our long-term goal has been and remains to identify hetero-oligomers with unnatural backbones and specific sequences that function as highly effective catalysts. We hypothesize that such oligomers will display discrete folding patterns tertiary structure. The nature of the reaction catalyzed is not important at this early stage of the program, as long as the reaction is challenging from the chemical perspective. We seek high catalytic activity, 1000-fold above the background rate in aqueous solution, at neutral pH and room temperature, for reactions such as transamidation, amide hydrolysis, or unactivated ester hydrolysis. In addition, we have sought to establish an analytical strategy that allows detection of weakly active catalysts on the single-molecule level. Such a method would facilitate the evaluation of enormous oligomer diversity in our search of catalytic activity. The novel exploratory experiments pursued under the auspices of this short-term grant represent early steps toward the ultimate goal of identifying unprecedented types of biomimetic catalysts.

Subject Categories:

  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry

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