Enzymatic esterification of lactones in aqueous buffer
September 24-28, 2017
Opening lactones with alcohols to yield esters can traditionally be achieved by acid or base catalysis. The produced esters are intermediates for a vast variety of reactions  and can also be used for polymerization reactions like for polycaprolactone.
Recently a biocatalytic cascade was reported for the transformation of cyclohexanol to the nylon-6 monomer . A key step was the in-situ capping strategy of the carboxylic functionality by opening ε-caprolactone (1a) with methanol to methyl-6-hydroxyhexanoate (1b) employing a crude preparation of horse liver esterase (HLE). The conversion was performed in aqueous buffer in the presence of 10% v/v methanol.
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Lucas Hammerer, Verena Resch, and Wolfgang Kroutil, "Enzymatic esterification of lactones in aqueous buffer" in "Enzyme Engineering XXIV", Pierre Monsan, Toulouse White Biotechnology, France Magali Remaud-Simeon, LISBP-INSA, University of Toulouse, France Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2017). http://dc.engconfintl.org/enzyme_xxiv/72