Biocatalytic cascades driven by enzymes encapsulated in metal–organic framework nanoparticles

Wei Hai Chen, Margarita Vázquez-González, Amani Zoabi, Raed Abu-Reziq, Itamar Willner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

486 Scopus citations


Biocatalytic transformations in cells, such as enzyme cascades, involve complex networks proceeding in spatially confined microenvironments. Here, inspired by nature, we demonstrate effective biocatalytic cascades by the encapsulation of two or three enzymes, or enzyme/cofactor components, in zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 metal–organic framework nanoparticles (ZIF8-NMOFs) that act as nanoreactors. The integration of the two-enzyme system (glucose oxidase and horseradish peroxidase) or three-enzyme system (β-galactosidase, glucose oxidase and horseradish peroxidase) in the NMOFs leads to 7.5-fold and 5.3-fold enhancements in the activity of the catalytic cascades, respectively, compared with the bulk mixture of the catalysts in solution. In addition, the encapsulation of alcohol dehydrogenase, NAD+–polymer and lactate dehydrogenase in the NMOFs yields a coupled biocatalytic cascade involving coupled NAD+-dependent enzymes, leading to the catalytic reduction of pyruvic acid to lactic acid by ethanol.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)689-695
Number of pages7
JournalNature Catalysis
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2018, The Author(s).


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