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Multienzymatic Synthesis of γ‐Lactam Building Blocks from Unsaturated Esters and Hydroxylamine

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

N-hydroxy-γ-lactams are produced through an enzymatic sequence combining a lipase-catalyzed hydroxylamidation with an oxidase/peroxidase-induced ene-type cyclization. This methodology provides a mild and scalable access to N-heterocyclic building blocks from basic γ,δ-unsaturated esters and aqueous hydroxylamine, and its utility is illustrated by the formal total synthesis of the tetracyclic alkaloid cephalotaxine.


The assembly of enzymatic cascades and multi-step reaction sequences represents an attractive alternative to traditional synthetic-organic approaches. The biocatalytic reaction mediators offer not only mild conditions and permit the use of environmentally benign reagents, but the high compatibility of different enzymes promises more streamlined reaction setups. In this study, a triple-enzymatic strategy was developed that enables the direct conversion of γ,δ-unsaturated esters to N-hydroxy-γ-lactam building blocks. Hereby, a lipase-catalyzed hydroxylaminolysis generates hydroxamic acid intermediates that are subsequently aerobically activated by horseradish peroxidase and glucose oxidase to cyclize in an intramolecular nitroso ene reaction. Utilizing the hydroxylaminolysis/ene-cyclization sequence for the preparation of an aza-spirocyclic lactam, the multi-enzymatic methodology was successfully employed in the synthesis of key intermediates en route to alkaloids of the Cephalotaxus family.

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