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Comprehensive Step-by-Step Engineering of an (R)-Hydroxynitrile Lyase for Large-Scale Asymmetric Synthesis


  • We thank the SFB Biokatalyse (F0101), the TIG, the province of Styria, SFG, and the city of Graz for financial support.


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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).