Enzymes provide an exquisitely tailored chiral environment to foster high catalytic activities and selectivities, but their native structures are optimized for very specific biochemical transformations. Designing a protein to accommodate a non-native transition metal complex can broaden the scope of enzymatic transformations while raising the activity and selectivity of small-molecule catalysis. Here, we report the creation of a bifunctional artificial metalloenzyme in which a glutamic acid or aspartic acid residue engineered into streptavidin acts in concert with a docked biotinylated rhodium(III) complex to enable catalytic asymmetric carbon-hydrogen (C-H) activation. The coupling of benzamides and alkenes to access dihydroisoquinolones proceeds with up to nearly a 100-fold rate acceleration compared with the activity of the isolated rhodium complex and enantiomeric ratios as high as 93:7.
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