Two (Chemo)-Enzymatic Cascades for the Production of Opposite Enantiomers of Chiral Azidoalcohols
Multi-step cascade reactions have gained increasing attention in the biocatalysis field in recent years. In particular, multi-enzymatic cascades can achieve high molecular complexity without workup of reaction intermediates thanks to the enzymes’ intrinsic selectivity; and where enzymes fall short, organo- or metal catalysts can further expand the range of possible synthetic routes. Here, we present two enantiocomplementary (chemo)-enzymatic cascades composed of either a styrene monooxygenase (StyAB) or the Shi epoxidation catalyst for enantioselective alkene epoxidation in the first step, coupled with a halohydrin dehalogenase (HHDH)-catalysed regioselective epoxide ring opening in the second step for the synthesis of chiral aliphatic non-terminal azidoalcohols. Through the controlled formation of two new stereocenters, corresponding azidoalcohol products could be obtained with high regioselectivity and excellent enantioselectivity (99% ee) in the StyAB-HHDH cascade, while product enantiomeric excesses in the Shi-HHDH cascade ranged between 56 and 61%.