Asymmetric Enzymatic Synthesis of Allylic Amines: A Sigmatropic Rearrangement Strategy

Christopher K. Prier, Todd K. Hyster, Christopher C. Farwell, Audrey Huang, Frances H. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Sigmatropic rearrangements, while rare in biology, offer opportunities for the efficient and selective synthesis of complex chemical motifs. A "P411" serine-ligated variant of cytochrome P450BM3 has been engineered to initiate a sulfimidation/[2,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement sequence in whole E. coli cells, a non-natural function for any enzyme, providing access to enantioenriched, protected allylic amines. Five mutations in the enzyme substantially enhance its activity toward this new function, demonstrating the evolvability of the catalyst toward challenging nitrene transfer reactions. The evolved catalyst additionally performs the highly enantioselective imidation of non-allylic sulfides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4711-4715
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 4 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


  • amination
  • biocatalysis
  • cytochrome P450
  • directed evolution
  • nitrene transfer


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