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Issue 39, 2010
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Formation of silicones mediated by the sponge enzymesilicatein-α

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The sponge-restricted enzyme silicatein-α catalyzes in vivo silica formation from monomeric silicon compounds from sea water (i.e. silicic acid) and plays the pivotal role during synthesis of the siliceous sponge spicules. Recombinant silicatein-α, which was cloned from the demosponge Suberites domuncula (phylum Porifera), is shown to catalyze in vitro condensation of alkoxy silanes during a phase transfer reaction at neutral pH and ambient temperature to yield silicones like the straight-chained polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The reported condensation reaction is considered to be the first description of an enzymatically enhanced organometallic condensation reaction.

Graphical abstract: Formation of silicones mediated by the sponge enzyme silicatein-α

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Article information

15 Oct 2009
09 Mar 2010
First published
15 Apr 2010

Dalton Trans., 2010,39, 9245-9249
Article type

Formation of silicones mediated by the sponge enzyme silicatein-α

S. E. Wolf, U. Schlossmacher, A. Pietuch, B. Mathiasch, Heinz-C. Schröder, W. E. G. Müller and W. Tremel, Dalton Trans., 2010, 39, 9245
DOI: 10.1039/B921640E

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