A new concept for accessing configurationally defined trisubstituted olefins has been developed. Starting from a common ketone precursor of the type 4-ethylidenecyclohexanone, Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases are employed as catalysts in diastereoselective Baeyer-Villiger reactions leading to the corresponding E- or Z-configurated lactones. Wild-type cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO) as catalyst delivers the E-isomers and a directed evolution mutant the opposite Z-isomers. Subsequent transition metal-catalyzed chemical transformations of a key product containing a vinyl bromide moiety provide a variety of different trisubstituted E- or Z-olefins. A model based on QM/MM sheds light on the origin of this unusual type of diastereoselectivity. In contrast to this biocatalytic approach, traditional Baeyer-Villiger reagents such as m-CPBA fail to show any selectivity, 1:1 mixtures of E- and Z-olefins being formed.
- Baeyer-Villiger oxidation
- directed evolution