Synthetic toolbox: Biocatalysis

Introduction to enzyme catalysis and biocatalytic retrosynthesis

Biocatalysis can present a number of advantages including reduced cost of goods, improved environmental impact, better safety profiles, improved step and atom economy and reduced solvent usage, all of which can contribute to more sustainable manufacturing processes.  A major development in the field of biocatalysis is the impact that protein engineering and directed evolution have made on the properties of biocatalysts.  Another, relatively new concept is that of designing new synthetic routes to targte molecules using  ‘biocatalytic retrosynthesis’ .  With biocatalytic retrosynthesis, molecules are disconnected in a different way than if solely chemical reagents are relied upon leading to the development of new pathways and new ways of making molecules.