Biocatalytic synthesis of optically active tertiary alcohols

R Kourist, U T Bornscheuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The enzymatic preparation of optically pure tertiary alcohols under sustainable conditions has received much attention. The conventional chemical synthesis of these valuable building blocks is still hampered by the use of harmful reagents such as heavy metal catalysts. Successful examples in biocatalysis used esterases, lipases, epoxide hydrolases, halohydrin dehalogenases, thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzymes, terpene cyclases, -acetylases, and -dehydratases. This mini-review provides an overview on recent developments in the discovery of new enzymes, their functional improvement by protein engineering, the design of chemoenzymatic routes leading to tertiary alcohols, and the discovery of entirely new biotransformations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-17
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Alcohols
  • Bacteria
  • Biocatalysis
  • Hydrolases
  • Protein Engineering
  • Terpenes
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology


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