Direct enzymatic methods for the preparation of enantiopure cyclic β-amino acids (e.g. cispentacin) and β-lactams through the enzyme-catalyzed enantioselective ring opening of β-lactams in water and organic solvents are reviewed. Indirect methods through the lipase-catalyzed asymmetric acylation of N-hydroxymethylated β-lactams or the lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis of the corresponding ester derivatives, followed by ring opening, are also surveyed.
Keywords: lactam, amino acid, cispentacin, ring opening, enzymatic catalysis
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