A cell-penetrating artificial metalloenzyme regulates a gene switch in a designer mammalian cell

Yasunori Okamoto, Ryosuke Kojima, Fabian Schwizer, Eline Bartolami, Tillmann Heinisch, Stefan Matile, Martin Fussenegger, Thomas R. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Complementing enzymes in their native environment with either homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts is challenging due to the sea of functionalities present within a cell. To supplement these efforts, artificial metalloenzymes are drawing attention as they combine attractive features of both homogeneous catalysts and enzymes. Herein we show that such hybrid catalysts consisting of a metal cofactor, a cell-penetrating module, and a protein scaffold are taken up into HEK-293T cells where they catalyze the uncaging of a hormone. This bioorthogonal reaction causes the upregulation of a gene circuit, which in turn leads to the expression of a nanoluc-luciferase. Relying on the biotin-streptavidin technology, variation of the biotinylated ruthenium complex: the biotinylated cell-penetrating poly(disulfide) ratio can be combined with point mutations on streptavidin to optimize the catalytic uncaging of an allyl-carbamate-protected thyroid hormone triiodothyronine. These results demonstrate that artificial metalloenzymes offer highly modular tools to perform bioorthogonal catalysis in live HEK cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1943
JournalNature communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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