The use of natural substances, such as enzymes from biological sources or whole cells to speed up chemical reactions.
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Enzymatic intermolecular Diels-Alder reactions in synthesis: From nature to designThe Diels-Alder (D-A) reaction is one of the most critical chemical transformations to construct C–C bonds with predictable regio- and stereo-selectivities. It has been widely used as a retrosynthetic disconnection in synthetic chemistry. Although significant advances have been made, synthetic challenges remain in how to precisely control the stereochemistry of intermolecular Diels-Alder reaction. Enzymes are well known for their remarkable catalytic efficiency and selectivity compared with chemo-catalysts.
Chemo-enzymatic total syntheses of bis-tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids and systematic exploration of the substrate scope of SfmCChemo-enzymatic hybrid process merging enzymatic cascade reactions of designed substrates with chemo- and site-selective synthetic manipulations allowed the chemo-enzymatic total syntheses of jorunnamycin A and saframycin A, in just 4 and 5 pots processes, respectively. Artificial variants with installation of various amino acids in place of l-Ala were systematically generated, demonstrating the substantially broader substrate scope of SfmC. This chemo-enzymatic hybrid process can considerably minimize the number of steps, labor, and time, and thus offer a rapid and versatile means to generate therapeutically important natural products and their derivatives.