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Keywords:

  • biocatalysis;
  • chirality;
  • enzymes;
  • hydrogen cyanide;
  • oxynitrilase

Abstract

The potential of the hydroxynitrile lyase from Manihot esculenta towards ketone substrates was investigated. It was observed that the length of the aliphatic chain is a key parameter for the conversion of aliphatic, non-branched ketones. Smaller substrates are readily converted with high enantioselectivites, but the elongation of the chain length causes a significant loss in enzyme activity. For a number of halogenated, herein especially fluorinated, acetophenone derivatives the corresponding cyanohydrins have been synthesized with good to moderate enantioselectivities.