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Stereoselective reduction of prochiral ketones by plant and microbial biocatalysts

Author(s): K Javidnia1, E Faghih-Mirzaei2, R Miri1, M Attarroshan1, K Zomorodian3
1Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran 2Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran 3Department of Mycology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
E Faghih-Mirzaei Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman Iran E-mail:

Chiral alcohols are the key chiral building blocks to many enantiomerically pure pharmaceuticals. The biocatalytic approach in asymmetric reduction of corresponding prochiral ketones to the preparation of these optically pure substances is one of the most promising routes. The stereoselective reduction of different kinds of prochiral ketones catalyzed by various plants and microorganisms was studied in this work. Benzyl acetoacetate, methyl 3-oxopentanoate, ethyl 3-oxopentanoate, and ethyl butyryl acetate were chosen as the model substrates for β-ketoesters. Benzoyl acetonitrile, 3-chloro propiophenone, and 1-acetyl naphthalene were chosen as aromatic aliphatic ketones. Finally, 2-methyl benzophenone and 4-chloro benzophenone were selected as diaryl ketones. Plant catalysis was conducted by Daucus carota, Brassica rapa, Brassica oleracea, Pastinaca sativa, and Raphnus sativus.For microbial catalysis, Aspergillus foetidus, Penicillum citrinum, Saccharomyces carlbergensis, Pichia fermentans, and Rhodotrula glutinis were chosen. Chiral alcohols were obtained in high yields and with optical purity. A superiority in the microorganisms' performance in the bioreduction of prochiral ketones was detected. Among microorganisms, Rhodotrula glutinis showed remarkable results with nearly all substrates and is proposed for future studies.

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