Abstract by Parker Jarman
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Peptide backbone augmented catalysis
Every day in our body, enzymes catalyze thousands of complex, life-sustaining reactions that are difficult to replicate in the laboratory. Enzymes accomplish these seemingly impossible reactions through their unparalleled selectivity and efficiency, accurately coordinating reactive groups thousands of times more efficiently than most synthetic catalysts. Artificial enzyme-like catalysts can be created by attaching catalytic groups to a peptide background, using the same principles to speed up synthetic reactions. We have created a synthetic enzyme from a peptide backbone and a bifunctional thiourea catalyst that may perform anion abstraction catalysis better than the catalyst alone in solution If our peptide catalyst can achieve higher yields than the original catalyst, it demonstrates that our system of linking organic catalysts to a peptide backbone has potential to improve a wide variety of catalytic systems.