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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2001 Dec;12(6):552-8.

Microbial epoxide hydrolases for preparative biotransformations.

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Department of Chemistry, Organic and Bio-organic Chemistry, University of Graz, Heinrichstrasse 28, A-8010 Graz, Austria.


Epoxide hydrolases from microbial sources are highly versatile biocatalysts for the asymmetric hydrolysis of epoxides on a preparative scale. Besides kinetic resolution, which furnishes the corresponding vicinal diol and remaining non-hydrolysed epoxide in nonracemic form, enantioconvergent processes are possible: these are highly attractive as they lead to the formation of a single enantiomeric diol from a racemic oxirane. The data accumulated over recent years reveal a common picture of the substrate structure selectivity pattern of microbial epoxide hydrolases and indicate that substrates of various structural types can be selectively hydrolysed with enzymes from certain microbial sources.

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