Ionic liquids (ILs) offer new possibilities for epoxide hydrolase (EH) catalyzed resolution of epoxides and for synthesis of chiral 1,2-diols. Soluble EHs from cress and mouse (csEH and msEH) and microsomal EH from rat (rmEH) were tested in several ILs. For all the enzymes tested, higher enantioselectivities were obtained in [bmim][N(Tf)(2)] and [bmim][PF(6)]. The optimized amount of water for EH activity in these ILs was established. Classical problems arising from low solubility of epoxides in water or from the high tendency of the oxirane ring to undergo chemical hydrolysis were avoided using these new media.
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