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Keywords:

  • biocatalysis;
  • enantioselectivity;
  • epoxides;
  • halohydrin dehalogenase;
  • nucleophiles
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Easy virtue: Halohydrin dehalogenase is a highly promiscuous enzyme that can catalyze enantioselective epoxide ring opening with at least nine different anionic nucleophiles (see scheme). Its capacity to form carbon–nitrogen, carbon–oxygen, carbon–sulfur, and carbon–carbon bonds makes it possible to use this enzyme for the preparation of a range of highly enantioenriched β-substituted alcohols or derivatives thereof, including cyanoalcohols, nitroalcohols, and oxazolidinones.