The asymmetric hydrogenation of conjugated tetrasubstituted alkenes with transition-metal catalysts is a challenging reaction, especially for substrates bearing a halide substituent. We describe a two-step multienzymatic reduction of a series of α-halo β-alkyl tetrasubstituted cyclic enones, affording halohydrins with three contiguous stereogenic centers, in good yield and with a high stereoselectivity. The reduction is catalyzed by a stereospecific ene-reductase (OYE2-3 or NemA) and a highly enantioselective alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). The use of two enantiodivergent ADHs allows the control of the diastereoselectivity. The absolute stereochemical configurations of the products have been determined from the analysis of single-crystal structures (Flack's parameter). The enantiomeric excess (ee) has been determined by derivatization of the products with (R) Mosher's acid. Lastly, we extended our methodology also to a nonhalogenated substrate: the α-methyl ketoisophorone was reduced by two distinct enantiodivergent ene-reductases (flavin mononucleotide- and F 420-dependent), affording each enantiomer of the saturated ketone with ee > 98%.
- Alcohol dehydrogenases
- Tetrasubstituted enones