Enzyme-catalyzed enantiomeric resolution of N-Boc-proline as the key-step in an expeditious route towards RAMP

Masayuki Kurokawa, Takeyuki Shindo, Masumi Suzuki, Nobuyoshi Nakajima, Kohji Ishihara, Takeshi Sugai

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21 Citations (Scopus)


For the preparation of both enantiomers of N-carbamoyl-2-methoxymethylpyrrolidine, the precursors of Enders' chiral auxiliaries, SAMP and RAMP, enzyme-catalyzed kinetic resolution of racemic N-carbamoyl, N-Boc, N-Cbz proline esters and prolinols were examined. B. licheniformis protease (subtilisin) preferentially hydrolyzed the (R)-carbamoylproline ester with an enantiomeric ratio (E) of 10. To a hydrophobic N-Cbz proline ester, subtilisin showed lower selectivity (E=2.8), and in contrast, a purified protease (isozyme A) from the earthworm showed the preference of (S)-enantiomer (E=13.6). In a practical sense, C. antarctica lipase B (Chirazyme L-2) was effective for the hydrolysis of both N-Boc and N-Cbz derivatives with E >100. The e.e. of (R)-N-carbamoyl-2-methoxymethylpyrrolidine was raised to be >99.9% by recrystallization at the N-Boc-prolinol stage, which was derived from the (R)-N-Boc-proline methyl ester (98.7% e.e.) through a preparative-scale enzyme-catalyzed resolution (49% yield) of the racemic substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1333
Number of pages11
JournalTetrahedron Asymmetry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May 16


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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