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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2010 Apr;14(2):122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

Practical chiral alcohol manufacture using ketoreductases.

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Codexis Inc, 200 Penobscot Drive, Redwood City, CA 94063, USA.


Over the past two years the application of ketoreductases in the commercial synthesis of chiral alcohols has undergone a revolution. Biocatalysts are now often the preferred catalyst for the synthesis of chiral alcohols via ketone reduction and are displacing reagents and chemocatalysts that only recently were considered break-through process solutions themselves. Tailor-made enzymes can now be generated from advanced, non-natural variants using HTP screening and modern molecular biology techniques. At the same time, global economic and environmental pressures direct industrial process development toward versatile platforms that can be applied to the different stages of product development. We will discuss the technologies that have emerged over the past years that have guided biocatalysis from the bottom of the toolbox, to the power tool of choice.

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