Single amino acid bionanozyme for environmental remediation

Pandeeswar Makam, Sharma S.R.K.C. Yamijala, Venkata S. Bhadram, Linda J.W. Shimon, Bryan M. Wong, Ehud Gazit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Enzymes are extremely complex catalytic structures with immense biological and technological importance. Nevertheless, their widespread environmental implementation faces several challenges, including high production costs, low operational stability, and intricate recovery and reusability. Therefore, the de novo design of minimalistic biomolecular nanomaterials that can efficiently mimic the biocatalytic function (bionanozymes) and overcome the limitations of natural enzymes is a critical goal in biomolecular engineering. Here, we report an exceptionally simple yet highly active and robust single amino acid bionanozyme that can catalyze the rapid oxidation of environmentally toxic phenolic contaminates and serves as an ultrasensitive tool to detect biologically important neurotransmitters similar to the laccase enzyme. While inspired by the laccase catalytic site, the substantially simpler copper-coordinated bionanozyme is ∼5400 times more cost-effective, four orders more efficient, and 36 times more sensitive compared to the natural protein. Furthermore, the designed mimic is stable under extreme conditions (pH, ionic strength, temperature, storage time), markedly reusable for several cycles, and displays broad substrate specificity. These findings hold great promise in developing efficient bionanozymes for analytical chemistry, environmental protection, and biotechnology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1505
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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