The synthesis of optically active sulfoxides, compounds due to their unique properties, has been a main target for synthetic organic chemistry. Recent efforts in the field of biocatalysis have allowed the preparation of enantiopure sulfoxides starting from the corresponding sulfides while using relatively mild conditions. In fact, several different types of redox biocatalysts have been found that can catalyze enantio- and/or regioselective sulfoxidations. The most promising group of enzymes able to perform selective sulfoxidations is the flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs). Enzymes containing a flavin cofactor have already been widely studied and used in organic synthesis, especially in reduction and/or oxidation processes. This chapter highlights the recent efforts in the preparation of chiral sulfoxides catalyzed by different types of flavoenzymes, with special attention to the parameters that can improve their catalytic properties. Novel approaches that allow performing selective sulfoxidations in which modified flavin systems are used are also discussed.
- Artificial flavoenzymes
- Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases
- Chiral sulfoxides
- Flavin-containing monooxygenases
- Green chemistry
- Styrene monooxygenases