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Lecture F.M. Bickelhaupt


04 February 2004 FWN-Building 5113.0202, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen
Speaker:Dr. F.M. Bickelhaupt
Affiliation:Theoretische Chemie, Scheikundig Laboratorium der Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Title:Molecular recognition in catalysis and DNA replication
Date:Wed Feb 4, 2004
Location:FWN-Building 5113.0202
Host:R. van Leeuwen
Telephone:+31 50 363 7754


The concept of molecular recognition is used for understanding and steering two rather different chemical processes: (1) DNA replication and (2) Homogeneous catalysis. The former is a textbook example of template-directed syntheses, which is based on biomolecular recognition between DNA bases. In this talk, the nature of the hydrogen bonds in Watson-Crick pairs and their role in the mechanism of the highly accurate recognition between DNA bases is discussed. In particular, the controversy between standard model ("hydrogen bonds" between bases) and steric model ("steric shape" of bases) is addressed.

In the second part of the talk, the concept of molecular recognition is brought to another level of the potential energy surface, namely, away from the local minima (that is, equilibrium structures) toward first-order saddle points (or transition states). The transition states of interest, here, are those for catalytic C–X bond activation. The approach of fragment-oriented design of catalysts is introduced and it is argued that selective catalyses comes down to molecular recognition between catalyst and substrate in the transition state.


Last modified:22 October 2012 2.31 p.m.