Chiral alcohols are useful intermediates and auxiliaries in organic synthesis. Their preparation in enantiopure form is consequently of very high interest. Among the different enzymatic procedures, the use of dehydrogenase activities can be considered as the most attractive alternative. These enzymes can fruitfully work in inverse direction as enantioselective reducing agents. We will focus on the use of well-known alcohol dehydrogenases, describing their application in chiral alcohol preparation. A final discussion on the possibility of using these enzymes in either oxidative or reductive direction will be presented.
Keywords: Chiral alcohols, enantioselective preparation, carbonyl reduction, enzymatic methods, dehydrogenases
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