The development of non-natural reaction mechanisms is an attractive strategy for expanding the synthetic capabilities of substrate promiscuous enzymes. Here, we report an "ene"-reductase catalyzed asymmetric hydroalkylation of olefins using α-bromoketones as radical precursors. Radical initiation occurs via ground-state electron transfer from the flavin cofactor located within the enzyme active site, an underrepresented mechanism in flavin biocatalysis. Four rounds of site saturation mutagenesis were used to access a variant of the "ene"-reductase nicotinamide-dependent cyclohexanone reductase (NCR) from Zymomonas mobiles capable of catalyzing a cyclization to furnish β-chiral cyclopentanones with high levels of enantioselectivity. Additionally, wild-type NCR can catalyze intermolecular couplings with precise stereochemical control over the radical termination step. This report highlights the utility for ground-state electron transfers to enable non-natural biocatalytic C-C bond forming reactions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry