"The Concept of Photochemical Enzyme Models - State of the Art"
, in Coord. Chem. Rev., Vol. 325, Seite(n) 102-115, 2016
The Concept of Photochemical Enzyme Models - State of the Art
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Synthetic low-molecular-weight catalyst systems with an enzyme-like reactivity can be succesfully created from suitable light-responsive builiding blocks with rationally designed excited-state properties. This unique approach of mimicking natural processes with bio-inspired catalysts based on coordination compounds and photoreactive materials offers several important benefits compared to conventional biomimetic strategies. Such advantages include the convenient triggering and regulation of enzyme-like activity by light-intensity variations, efficient substrate conversion even under very mild reaction conditions, and the intrinsic possibility of powering energetically uphill processes. Due to these promising features, the novel field of photochemical enzyme models (artificial photoenzymes) has matured over the last decade.
Several illustrative examples of photocatalytic processes mimicking the functional properties of natural systems are provided in this short review including some typical applications of artificial photoenzymes in the fields of green chemistry, solar energy conversion, photomedicine and life-sciences. Combining enzyme-like reactivity to enable stepwise synthetic cascade reactions has meanwhile also been demonstrated, which now opens new avenues for the design of artificial metabolic pathways controlled and driven by light. The creation of directly coupled photo-biocatalytic hybrid systems is also briefly discussed as a straightforward method to trigger more complex reaction sequences at the interface of light-mediated chemistry and natural processes in both cell-free systems and living organisms.