Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

Journal Club

Explanatory note

The journal club is intended to be a weekly natter about interesting recent research. We tend to stick to high-impact journals - Nature, Science, PNAS and PRL have been popular - but this is not prescriptive. Given the diversity of research in the CM group, chosen topics vary widely. Anyone and everyone is welcome: if you have a paper you want to discuss, email it to me (Joe Tavacoli) and I'll slot you in.

Week beginning 4 December 2016

Friday 9 Dec 16 - 11:30am

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

Authors: S. B. Jennifer Kan, Russell D. Lewis, Kai Chen, Frances H. Arnold

Speaker: Clair-Marie Loudon

Enzymes that catalyze carbon-silicon bond formation are unknown in nature, despite the natural abundance of both elements. Such enzymes would expand the catalytic repertoire of biology, enabling living systems to access chemical space previously only open to synthetic chemistry.We have discovered that heme proteins catalyze the formation of organosilicon compounds under physiological conditions via carbene insertion into silicon-hydrogen bonds. The reaction proceeds both in vitro and in vivo, accommodating a broad range of substrates with high chemo- and enantioselectivity. Using directed evolution, we enhanced the catalytic function of cytochrome c from Rhodothermus marinus to achieve more than 15-fold higher turnover than state-of-the-art synthetic catalysts. This carbon-silicon bond-forming biocatalyst offers an environmentally friendly and highly efficient route to producing enantiopure organosilicon molecules.
Science 354 pages 1048-1051 (2016)
pdf version

Upcoming meetings

Friday 16 Dec 16 - 11:30am - JCMB 2511

Contact Angle Distribution of Particles at Fluid Interfaces

Authors: Craig Snoeyink, Sourav Barman, Gordon F. Christopher

Speaker: Rudi Mears

Wednesday 6 Dec 17 - 11:30am - JCMB 2511

To be confirmed

Wednesday 6 Dec 17 - 11:30am - JCMB 2511

To be confirmed

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