Evolving Enzymes to Unlock Previously Inaccessible Chemical Space: Brominated Porphyrins
Porphyrins are cyclic molecules reliably created by biology with tunable catalytic and optical properties. However, chemical synthesis challenges limit their industrial application. We work to leverage Porphobilinogen Deaminase and synthetic chemistry to create unnatural porphyrins. Its promiscuity on synthetic substrates is mapped by an in vitro assay with optical and MS readouts. Evolution is pursued to alter PBGD promiscuity. Enzymatic synthesis of porphyrins can improve function and cost-effectiveness of revolutionary optical materials such as non-linear filters.