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Biochem Pharmacol. 2011 Oct 1;82(7):789-96. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2011.06.020. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

Preparation of human drug metabolites using fungal peroxygenases.

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International Graduate School of Zittau (IHI Zittau), Department of Bio- and Environmental Sciences, Markt 23, 02763 Zittau, Germany.


The synthesis of hydroxylated and O- or N-dealkylated human drug metabolites (HDMs) via selective monooxygenation remains a challenging task for synthetic organic chemists. Here we report that aromatic peroxygenases (APOs; EC secreted by the agaric fungi Agrocybe aegerita and Coprinellus radians catalyzed the H₂O₂-dependent selective monooxygenation of diverse drugs, including acetanilide, dextrorphan, ibuprofen, naproxen, phenacetin, sildenafil and tolbutamide. Reactions included the hydroxylation of aromatic rings and aliphatic side chains, as well as O- and N-dealkylations and exhibited different regioselectivities depending on the particular APO used. At best, desired HDMs were obtained in yields greater than 80% and with isomeric purities up to 99%. Oxidations of tolbutamide, acetanilide and carbamazepine in the presence of H₂¹⁸O₂ resulted in almost complete incorporation of ¹⁸O into the corresponding products, thus establishing that these reactions are peroxygenations. The deethylation of phenacetin-d₁ showed an observed intramolecular deuterium isotope effect [(k(H)/k(D))(obs)] of 3.1±0.2, which is consistent with the existence of a cytochrome P450-like intermediate in the reaction cycle of APOs. Our results indicate that fungal peroxygenases may be useful biocatalytic tools to prepare pharmacologically relevant drug metabolites.

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