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Keywords:

  • amines;
  • biocatalysis;
  • biotransformations;
  • racemization;
  • stereochemistry

Abstract

A strategy for the biocatalytic racemization of primary α-chiral amines was developed by employing a pair of stereocomplementary PLP-dependent ω-transaminases. The interconversion of amine enantiomers proceeded through reversible transamination by a prochiral ketone intermediate, either catalyzed by a pair of stereocomplementary ω-transaminases or by a single enzyme possessing low stereoselectivity. To tune the system, the type and concentration of a nonchiral amino acceptor proved to be crucial. Finally, racemization could be achieved by the cross-transamination of two different amines without a requirement for an external amino acceptor. Several synthetically and industrially important amines could be enzymatically racemized under mild reaction conditions.