Commercially available “Chiralscreen® OH” starter kit containing five types of carbonyl reductases (E001, E007, E031, E039, and E078) was used for the reduction of several aromatic and aliphatic ketones to obtain enantiomerically enriched drug precursors and an insect pheromone. Almost stereochemically pure secondary alcohols, used in the synthesis of drugs such as (R)-rasagiline mesylate, (S)-rivastigmine, (R)-chlorphenesin carbamate, and (R)-mexiletine, and the insect pheromone (4S,5R)-sitophilure, were conveniently obtained. The enzymes worked well with ketones containing at least one non-bulky substituent at the carbonyl group. The diverse stereochemical preference of the above five carbonyl reductases was clarified.
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