aldolase reactions

Aldol reactions are cornerstones of organic synthetic chemistry as they enable the formation of new carbon-carbon bonds while forming new stereocenters. Aldol reactions are used in the synthesis of a variety of hydroxylated compounds which are of particular interest in the synthesis of bioactive substances and can be formed from α-hydroxylated ketones and aldehydes.
Biocatalytic synthesis of aldols, using aldolase enzymes, would bring several advantages over traditional synthetic methods:
(1) the catalytic capacity of enzymes far exceeds many traditionally used organic or organometallic catalysts.
(2) enzymes are fully biodegradable, harmless to handle and work in aqueous solutions.
(3) they offer lower energy consumption as reactions can be performed with high efficiency at ambient temperatures.
(4) the atomic economy can be optimized while synthesis steps can be minimized as protecting groups usually do not need to be used.
(5) enzymes exhibit stereoselectivity that allows asymmetric synthesis.

Our studies of aldolases therefore aim to ...

  • broaden the substrate selectivity to include non-phosphorylated reactant substrates.
  • deepen the understanding of structure / activity relationships in aldolase-catalyzed reactions.