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Haloalkane dehalogenase catalysed desymmetrisation and tandem kinetic resolution for the preparation of chiral haloalcohols

By Alja Westerbeek, Jan G.E. van Leeuwen, Wiktor Szymański, Ben L. Feringa and Dick B. Janssen


Six different bacterial haloalkane dehalogenases were recombinantly produced in Escherichia coli, purified, and used to catalyse the conversion of prochiral short-chain dihaloalkanes and a meso dihaloalkane, yielding enantioenriched haloalcohols. A two-reaction one-enzyme process was established in which the desymmetrisation of a dihaloalkane is followed by kinetic resolution of the chiral haloalcohol that is produced in the first step. In case of 1,3-dibromo-2-methylpropane and 1,3-dibromo-2-phenylpropane, an increase of the enantiomeric excess of the respective haloalcohol was observed in time, leading to ee values of >97%, with analytical yields of 24 and 52%, respectively. The results show that haloalkane dehalogenases can be used for the production of highly enantioenriched haloalcohols and that in some cases product enantiopurity can be improved by allowing a two-step one-enzyme tandem reaction.

Year: 2012
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