Toroidal processive enzymes (e.g. enzymes/proteins that are able to thread onto biopolymers and to perform stepwise reactions along the polymer chain) are among the most fascinating tools involved in the clockwork machinery of life. Processive catalysis is ubiquitous in Nature, viz. DNA polymerases, endo- and exo-nucleases and; it plays a crucial role in numerous events of the cell’s life, including most of the replication, transmission, and expression and repair processes of the genetic information. In the case of DNA polymerases the protein catalyst encircles the DNA and whilst moving along it, make copies of high fidelity. Although numerous works have been reported in relation with the synthesis of natural enzymes' analogues, very few efforts have been paid in comparison to mimic these processive properties. It is the goal of this proposal to rectify this oversight and unravel the essential components of Nature’s polymer catalysts. The individual projects are designed to specifically target the essential aspects of processive catalysis, i.e. rate of motion, rate of catalysis, and transfer of information. One project is aimed at extending the research into a processive catalytic system that is more suitable for industrial application. Two projects involve more farsighted studies and are designed to push the research way beyond the current boundaries into the area of Turing machines and bio-rotaxane catalysts which can modify DNA in a non-natural process. The vision of this proposal is to open up the field of ‘processive catalysis’ and invigorate the next generation of chemists to develop information transfer and toroidal processive catalysts. The construction of synthetic analogues of processive enzymes could open a gate toward a large range of applications, ranging from intelligent tailoring of polymers to information storage and processing.
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