CE07 - Chimie moléculaire

Synthesis and valorization of alpha-hydroxyketones through bio and organocatalysis – HYCAT

Submission summary

The need for greener and more sustainable chemistry has seen the emergence of chemoenzymatic strategies as a powerful approach for the eco-compatible and highly selective synthesis of highly valuable compounds due not only to the discovery of new, more efficient enzymes, but also of their engineering. The combination of efficient bio and organo catalysts improves the synthesis of complex molecules saving time, resources, reagents and energy, while reducing waste.
The aim of HYCAT will be to combine i) a key irreversible enzymatic step catalyzed by a transferase, transketolase (TK) for the stereoselective formation of C-C to obtain unsymmetrical alpha-hydroxy ketones in one step and ii) efficient organocatalysts, N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC), to efficiently convert these alpha-hydroxy ketones into a wide range of vinylene carbonates such as medoxomil derivatives.
While "traditional" syntheses lack selectivity or are economically unattractive due to the large number of steps, the originality of HYCAT consists in using thermostable and efficient enzymes obtained from metagenomic libraries or specially designed by mutagenesis applied in cascade avoiding isolation of intermediates. The asymmetric alpha-hydroxy ketones obtained from the reaction catalyzed by TK variants will be used in fine chemistry (flavors, herbicides) and also as precursors of choice to get a wide range of vinylene carbonates of “medoxomil type " as prodrugs in using a novel versatile organocatalytic strategy catalyzed by NHC.
This project is based on the complementarity of the recognized expertises of partner 1 in biocatalysis (Clermont Auvergne, ICCF) and partner 2 in chemical catalysis (University Lyon 1, ICBMS) demonstrated in a previous joint project highlighted by a first publication.

Project coordination

Laurence HECQUET (Université Clermont Auvergne (EPE))

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ICBMS Institut de chimie et biochimie moléculaires et supramoléculaires
ICCF Université Clermont Auvergne (EPE)

Help of the ANR 366,114 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2022 - 42 Months

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