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Open Access Enhancing Metal-binding with Noncanonical Coordinating Amino Acids

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

More than 50% of proteinogenic amino acid sidechains can bind metal ions, enabling proteins and peptides to bear these ions as cofactors. Nevertheless, post-translational modifications and incorporation of noncanonical amino acids bestow peptides and proteins myriads of other coordination capabilities, thanks to an enhanced metal binding. Here we summarize selected examples of natural and artificial systems that contain one or more noncanonical amino acids coordinating a metal ion and subsequently achieve a new or enhanced function. We report on a wide array of systems: from disease-related proteins that undergo sulfurylation or phosphorylation through natural metallophores that selectively capture precious essential ions to synthetic selfassembly strategies, biocatalysts, and chelating agents against toxic metals. Regardless of their (bio)synthetic routes, all possess unique metal-binding properties that could not be effectively achieved by systems composed of canonical residues.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057, Zurich, Switzerland 2: Department of Chemistry, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057, Zurich, Switzerland;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: June 1, 2021

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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