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Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, Vol. 74, No. 1, pp. 115-122

Bioinspired organometallic chemistry

Lanny S. Liebeskind1*, Jiri Srogl1, Cecile Savarin2 and Concepcion Polanco3

1 Emory University, Department of Chemistry, 1515 Pierce Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2 Merck and Company, P.O. Box 2000, RY800-C264, Rahway, NJ 07065, USA
3 Pharma Mar, S. A. C/ de la Calera 3, 28760-Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain

Abstract: Given the stability of the bond between a mercaptide ligand and various redox-active metals, it is of interest that Nature has evolved significant metalloenzymatic processes that involve key interactions of sulfur-containing functionalities with metals such as Ni, Co, Cu, and Fe. From a chemical perspective, it is striking that these metals can function as robust biocatalysts in vivo, even though they are often "poisoned" as catalysts in vitro through formation of refractory metal thiolates. Insight into the nature of this chemical discrepancy is under study in order to open new procedures in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry.