Oxygen-Depleted Calixarenes as Ligands for Molecular Models of Galactose Oxidase

Matthias Keck, Santina Hoof, Christian Herwig, Arkadi Vigalok, Christian Limberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A calix[4]arene ligand, in which two of the phenol functions are replaced by pyrazole units has been employed to mimic the His2–Tyr2 (His: histidine, Tyr: tyrosine) ligand sphere within the active site of the galactose oxidase (GO). The calixarene backbone forces the corresponding copper(II) complex into a see-saw-type structure, which is hitherto unprecedented in GO modelling chemistry. It undergoes a one-electron oxidation that is centered at the phenolate donor leading to a copper-coordinated phenoxyl radical like in the GO. Accordingly, the complex was tested as a functional model and indeed proved capable of oxidizing benzyl alcohol to the respective aldehyde using two phenoxyl-radical equivalents as oxidants. Finally, the results show that the calixarene platform can be utilized to arrange donor functions to biomimetic binding pockets that allow for the creation of novel types of model compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13285-13289
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number58
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2019


  • alcohol oxidation
  • biomimetic chemistry
  • calixarenes
  • copper
  • nickel


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