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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2002 Nov;374(6):1069-73. Epub 2002 Oct 19.

High-throughput assay of ( R)-phenylacetylcarbinol synthesized by pyruvate decarboxylase.

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  • 1BASF AG, GVF/E-A030, 67056 Ludwigshafen, Germany.


A novel assay has been developed for the detection of ( R)-phenylacetylcarbinol, ( R)-PAC, a chiral intermediate in the industrial synthesis of ephedrine. It is the product of a biotransformation of benzaldehyde catalysed by the enzyme pyruvate decarboxylase. The assay, using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride, enables high-throughput photometric analysis of the activity of the enzyme thus avoiding time-consuming chromatographic procedures.

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