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Biotechnology letters

Biosynthesis of (R)-phenyl-1,2-ethanediol from racemic styrene oxide by using bacterial and marine fish epoxide hydrolases.


PMID 17665136

Abstract

Enantio-convergent hydrolysis of racemic styrene oxides was achieved to prepare enantiopure (R)-phenyl-1,2-ethanediol by using two recombinant epoxide hydrolases (EHs) of a bacterium, Caulobacter crescentus, and a marine fish, Mugil cephalus. The recombinant C. crescentus EH primarily attacked the benzylic carbon of (S)-styrene oxide, while the M. cephalus EH preferentially attacked the terminal carbon of (R)-styrene oxide, thus leading to the formation of (R)-phenyl-1,2-ethanediol as the main product. (R)-Phenyl-1,2-ethanediol was obtained with 90% enantiomeric excess and yield as high as 94% from 50 mM racemic styrene oxides in a one-pot process.