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Keywords:

  • asymmetric synthesis;
  • C–C coupling;
  • enzyme catalysis;
  • protein design;
  • protein engineering
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A custom-made enzyme: The gene and protein sequence of a new (R)-hydroxynitrile lyase from Prunus amygdalus was cloned and engineered for recombinant production on a large scale. The enzyme is stable and active at low pH values. A rationally designed active-site mutant now permits the rapid and stereoselective synthesis of sterically hindered cyanohydrins such as ortho-chloromandelonitrile (see picture).