Whole-cell yeasts and mold-catalyzed reduction of two fluorinated acetophenone derivatives with very bulky substituents on ortho position of aromatic ring, (±)-1′-(2-tert-butyl-2-methyl-1,3-benzodioxol-4-yl)- 2′,2′-difluoroethanone and (±)-1′-(2-tert-butyl-2- methyl-1,3-benzodioxol-4-yl)-2′,2′,2′-trifluoroethanone were examined. On the former substrate, Geotrichum candidum NBRC 5767 showed high re-facially selective attack of hydride, while with Pichia angusta JCM 3620, complementary si-facially selective attack proceeded. G. candidum NBRC 5767 was revealed to be potent biocatalyst which provides (1′S)-alcohols from both substrates in a highly facially selective manner. Some unknown reductases were suggested responsible for those reductions, other than so far having been reported acetophenone reductase and trifluoromethyl ketone reductase from G. candidum, comparing the results obtained by applying those enzymes.
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