Chemo- and Enantioselective Photoenzymatic Ketone Reductions Using a Promiscuous Flavin-dependent Nitroreductase
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Chirality plays an essential role in the development and synthesis of bioactive molecules. As a result, the synthesis of optically pure alcohols has attracted a significant interest from academia and industry due to their broad applications.

This is exemplified by the presence of chiral alcohols as structural elements in numerous pharmaceutically active compounds, such as  Isoprenaline(β-adrenoreceptor agonist), Duloxetine (anti-depressant), Saxagliptin (anti-diabetic), and the blockbuster drug atrovastatin (Lipitor™, cholesterol-lowering agent). Conventional synthetic routes towards these pharmacophores and other relevant active pharmaceuticals involve the use of metal ligands, multiple steps, low-to-moderate enantioselectivity, and environmentally harsh reaction conditions. Herein, we report an alternative and highly efficient synchronized photo-enzymatic system towards the synthesis of these relevant building blocks. The reaction runs in water and is catalyzed by a flavoenzyme, a photo-catalyst, an enzymatic regeneration system, and an in-house designed photo-reactor.

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