Diiron-containing metalloproteins: Developing functional models

Ornella Maglio, Flavia Nastri, Rafael Torres Martin de Rosales, Marina Faiella, Vincenzo Pavone, William F. DeGrado, Angela Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


A major objective in protein science is the design of enzymes with novel catalytic activities that are tailored to specific applications. Such enzymes may have great potential in biocatalysis and biosensor technology, such as in degradation of pollutants and biomass, and in drug and food processing. To reach this objective, investigations into the basic biochemical functioning of metalloproteins are still required. In this perspective, metalloprotein design provides a powerful approach first to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the way metalloproteins function in biology, with the ultimate goal of developing novel biocatalysts and sensing devices. Metalloprotein mimetics have been developed through the introduction of novel metal-binding sites into naturally occur-ring proteins as well as through de novo protein design. We have approached the challenge of reproducing metalloprotein active sites by using a miniaturization process. We centered our attention on iron-containing proteins, and we developed models for heme proteins and diiron-oxo proteins. In this paper we summarize the results we obtained on the design, structural, and functional properties of DFs, a family of artificial diiron proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-720
Number of pages18
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


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