Nature Communication : Bridging the gap between transition metal- and bio-catalysis via aqueous micellar catalysis
Previous studies have shown that aqueous solutions of designer surfactants enable a wide variety of valuable transformations in synthetic organic chemistry. Since reactions take place within the inner hydrophobic cores of these tailor-made nanoreactors, and products made therein are in dynamic exchange between micelles through the water, opportunities exist to use enzymes to effect secondary processes. Herein we report that ketone-containing products, formed via initial transition metal-catalyzed reactions based on Pd, Cu, Rh, Fe and Au, can be followed in the same pot by enzymatic reductions mediated by alcohol dehydrogenases. Most noteworthy is the finding that nanomicelles present in the water appear to function not only as a medium for both chemo- and bio-catalysis, but as a reservoir for substrates, products, and catalysts, decreasing noncompetitive enzyme inhibition.