Rational design of allosteric switchable catalysts

Allosteric regulation controls the activities of natural enzymes and expands the chemical biology toolbox for the research on switchable catalysts. These rationally designed substitutes for unstable natural enzymes have been applied in areas such as biosensors and biomimetic cascade reactions. This review extended the concept of allosterism to artificial scaffolds and introduced a variety of design methods for controllable catalysts.


Allosteric regulation, in many cases, involves switching the activities of natural enzymes, which further affects the enzymatic network and cell signaling in the living systems. The research on the construction of allosteric switchable catalysts has attracted broad interests, aiming to control the progress and asymmetry of catalytic reactions, expand the chemical biology toolbox, substitute unstable natural enzymes in the biological detection and biosensors, and fabricate the biomimetic cascade reactions. Thus, in this review, we summarize the recent outstanding works in switchable catalysts based on the allosterism of single molecules, supramolecular complexes, and self-assemblies. The concept of allosterism was extended from natural proteins to polymers, organic molecules, and supramolecular systems. In terms of the difference between these building scaffolds, a variety of design methods that tailor biological and synthetic molecules into controllable catalysts were introduced with emphasis.

Author list:

Tiezheng Pan, Yaling Wang, Xue Xue*, Chunqiu Zhang*

How to cite:

T. Pan, Y. Wang, X. Xue, C. Zhang, Exploration 2022, 2, 20210095.