Oxidation chemistry using enzymes is approaching maturity and practical applicability in organic synthesis. Oxidoreductases (enzymes catalysing redox reactions) enable chemists to perform highly selective and efficient transformations ranging from simple alcohol oxidations to stereoselective halogenations of non-activated C-H-bonds. For many of these reactions no 'classical' chemical counterpart is known. Hence oxidoreductases open up shorter synthesis routes via more direct access to the target products. The generally very mild reaction conditions may also reduce the environmental impact of biocatalytic reactions compared to classical counterparts. This contribution critically summarises the most important current developments in the field of biocatalytic oxidation chemistry, identifies the most pressing bottlenecks as well as promising solutions.
- Journal Article