Our research involves the introduction of molecular biology into synthetic organic chemistry in the quest to exploit directed evolution of stereoselective enzymes as catalysts in asymmetric reactions. The goals include the implementation of efficient molecular biological strategies and techniques for probing protein sequence space rapidly and the development of high-throughput screening systems for evaluating stereoselectivity and thermostability of enzyme mutants. Current challenges include selective C-C and C-H activating oxidations of simple and complex organic compounds as well as hydrolytic processes.
1. Manfred T. Reetz was chosen to be the first Hans-Meerwein-Research-Professor at Philipps-University in Marburg.
Following the termination of his contract as Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung at the age of 68 years, Manfred T. Reetz has moved to the Philipps-University in Marburg, where he was recently elected to become the first Hans-Meerwein-Research-Professor. At his new site he directs a group of six coworkers, financed by a special fund of the Max-Planck-Society and the Mülheim MPI. Thus, he has two appointments, namely external (emeritus) group leader of the MPI für Kohlenforschung and member of the Marburg chemistry faculty.
2. Paper by Reetz group selected by Faculty 1000 as top contribution.
The post-publication peer review organization Faculty 1000 has evaluated and selected the recent publication of the Reetz group regarding "Regio- and stereoselectivity of P450-cataysed hydroxylation of steroids by laboratory evolution" (S. Kille, F. E. Zilly, J. P. Acevedo, M. T. Reetz, Nature Chem. 2011, 3, 738-743). Election of a publication to F1000 places the work of the "top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine".
3. Manfred T. Reetz has been selected to receive the Otto-Hahn-Prize for his seminal contributions to methodology development in synthetic organic chemistry, especially for his concept of directed evolution of stereoselective enzymes as catalysts in asymmetric transformations. The € 50,000 endowed prize, initiated in 2005, is awarded every two years by the German Chemical Society (GDCh), The German Physics Society (DPG) and the city of Frankfurt/Main (the birthplace of Otto-Hahn). Past winners are Theodor Hänsch (physics/2005), Gerhard Ertl (chemistry/2007) and Stefan Hell (physics/2009). The ceremony took place on November 22, 2011 in the historic Paulskirche in Frankfurt/Main.
4. Manfred T. Reetz has been selected to receive another prestigious award, namely the international Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry 2011, endowed with $10,000.
Enzymes have been used as catalysts in synthetic organic chemistry for more than 100 years, but broad application has never been achieved due to a number of traditional limitations including the often observed narrow substrate scope, poor stereoselectivity and/or insufficient stability. The molecular biological methods of directed evolution offer a way out of this dilemma. Some time ago we introduced a fundamentally new approach to asymmetric catalysis, namely directed evolution of stereoselective enzymes as catalysts in synthetic organic chemistry and biotechnology. In more recent times methodology development has become crucial, aimed at making directed evolution in general more efficient, faster and reliable. Especially iterative saturation mutagenesis (ISM) as developed in our lab has proven to be highly successful, allowing problems associated with limited substrate scope, poor or wrong stereo- and/or regioselectivity as well as thermostability to be solved within a short time. We generally focus on stereoselective transformations which are not possible with current synthetic catalysts, e.g., regio- and stereoselective oxidative hydroxylation of simple and complex organic compounds. Our methods are being used in pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries for ecologically and economically viable transformations.
Dr. Acevedo Rocha, Carlos Guillermo
Dr. Acevedo-Cox, Juan Pablo
Dr. Agudo Torres, Rubén
Dr. Ilie, Adriana
Dr. Kille, Sabrina
Dr. Li, Aitao
Dr. Li, Guangyue
Dr. Lonsdale, Richard
Dr. Parra, Loreto P.
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Reetz (Emeritus), Manfred T.
Dr. Roiban, Gheorghe-Doru
Dr. Sun, Zhoutong
Dr. Tores Salas, Pamela
Dr. Wang, Jianbo
Prof. Dr. Wu, Zhogyuan
Dr. Zhang, Zhi-Gang