Total synthesis, structure, and biological activity of adenosylrhodibalamin, the non-natural rhodium homologue of coenzyme B12

Florian J. Widner, Andrew D. Lawrence, Evelyne Deery, Dana Heldt, Stefanie Frank, Karl Gruber, Klaus Wurst, Martin J. Warren, Bernhard Kräutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


B12 is unique among the vitamins as it is biosynthesized only by certain prokaryotes. The complexity of its synthesis relates to its distinctive cobalt corrin structure, which is essential for B12 biochemistry and renders coenzyme B12 (AdoCbl) so intriguingly suitable for enzymatic radical reactions. However, why is cobalt so fit for its role in B12‐dependent enzymes? To address this question, we considered the substitution of cobalt in AdoCbl with rhodium to generate the rhodium analogue 5′‐deoxy‐5′‐adenosylrhodibalamin (AdoRbl). AdoRbl was prepared by de novo total synthesis involving both biological and chemical steps. AdoRbl was found to be inactive in vivo in microbial bioassays for methionine synthase and acted as an in vitro inhibitor of an AdoCbl‐dependent diol dehydratase. Solution NMR studies of AdoRbl revealed a structure similar to that of AdoCbl. However, the crystal structure of AdoRbl revealed a conspicuously better fit of the corrin ligand for RhIII than for CoIII, challenging the current views concerning the evolution of corrins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11281-11286
JournalAngewandte Chemie-International Edition
Issue number37
Early online date29 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2016

Cite this