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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Feb;69(2):933-7.

Production of a doubly chiral compound, (4R,6R)-4-hydroxy-2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexanone, by two-step enzymatic asymmetric reduction.

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  • 1Department of Bioscience, Fukui Prefectural University, Matsuoka-cho, Fukui 910-1195, Japan. masaru@fpu.ac.jp


A practical enzymatic synthesis of a doubly chiral key compound, (4R,6R)-4-hydroxy-2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexanone, starting from the readily available 2,6,6-trimethyl-2-cyclohexen-1,4-dione is described. Chirality is first introduced at the C-6 position by a stereoselective enzymatic hydrogenation of the double bond using old yellow enzyme 2 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expressed in Escherichia coli, as a biocatalyst. Thereafter, the carbonyl group at the C-4 position is reduced selectively and stereospecifically by levodione reductase of Corynebacterium aquaticum M-13, expressed in E. coli, to the corresponding alcohol. Commercially available glucose dehydrogenase was also used for cofactor regeneration in both steps. Using this two-step enzymatic asymmetric reduction system, 9.5 mg of (4R,6R)-4-hydroxy-2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexanone/ml was produced almost stoichiometrically, with 94% enantiomeric excess in the presence of glucose, NAD(+), and glucose dehydrogenase. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the application of S. cerevisiae old yellow enzyme for the production of a useful compound.

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