Synfacts 2021; 17(12): 1379
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1720019
Organo- and Biocatalysis

Enzymatic Nitrene Insertion into C–H Bonds for Synthesis of Enantioenriched Amides

Benjamin List
Vikas Kumar Singh
Athavale S, Gao S, Liu Z, Mallojjala SC, Hirschi JS, *, Arnold FH. * Binghamton University and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
Biocatalytic, Intermolecular C–H Bond Functionalization for the Synthesis of Enantioenriched Amides.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021;
60: 24864-24869
DOI: 10.1002/anie.202110873.


Hirschi, Arnold, and co-workers report a nitrene insertion into benzylic C–H bonds by using engineered heme enzymes. The evolved enzymes transfer nitrenes to various arene-substituted substrates to give the corresponding products in moderate to good total turnover numbers and with good to excellent enantioselectivities.



The amide group is widely distributed in various natural products, synthetic materials, and pharmaceutical products. In the highlighted method, the authors directly install amides onto alkanes as inexpensive feedstock chemicals. They ­obtain valuable enantioenriched products in an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way.


Publication History

Publication Date:
17 November 2021 (online)

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