2022 年 80 巻 5 号 p. 506-516
Hydroxylation of hydrocarbons is a simple chemical transformation reaction. However, this is not an easier task than it looks in the chemical equations. The reactions generally require harsh (high temperature, high pressure, strongly acidic, or basic) conditions, which induce over oxidation giving a complicated mixture of products. In contrast, living organisms perform such difficult tasks like selective oxidation of methane to methanol and benzene to phenol by employing appropriate oxidizing species generated using earth abundant transition metals (Fe and Cu) in the well-organized reaction centers of metallo-monooxygenases. We have been trying to understand the essence of the chemical functions of such metalloenzymes to construct selective and efficient oxidation reactions of inert aliphatic and aromatic compounds. In this article, our recent accomplishments in this endeavor are summarized together with the backgrounds of the related chemistry.