SONG Wei&LIU Liming et al. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS.2018,19(9),PP 3818
Asymmetric assembly of high-value α-functionalized organic acids using a biocatalytic chiral-group-resetting process.
The preparation of α-functionalized organic acids can be greatly simplified by adopting a protocol involving the catalytic assembly of achiral building blocks. However, the enzymatic assembly of small amino acids and aldehydes to form numerous α-functionalized organic acids is highly desired and remains a significant challenge. Herein, we report an artificially designed chiral-group-resetting biocatalytic process, which uses simple achiral glycine and aldehydes to synthesize stereodefined α-functionalized organic acids. This cascade biocatalysis comprises a basic module and three different extender modules and operates in a modular assembly manner. The engineered Escherichia coli catalysts, which contained different module(s), provide access to α-keto acids, α-hydroxy acids, and α-amino acids with excellent conversion and enantioselectivities. Therefore, this biocatalytic process provides an attractive strategy for the conversion of low-cost achiral starting materials to high-value α-functionalized organic acids.