Stereoconvergent Reduction of Activated Alkenes by a Nicotinamide Free Synergistic Photobiocatalytic System

Yajie Wang, Xiaoqiang Huang, Jingshu Hui, Lam Tung Vo, Huimin Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a growing interest in developing cooperative chemoenzymatic reactions to harness the reactivity of chemical catalysts and the selectivity of enzymes for the synthesis of nonracemic chiral compounds. However, existing chemoenzymatic systems with more than one chemical reaction and one enzymatic reaction working cooperatively are rare. Moreover, the application of oxidoreductases in cooperative chemoenzymatic reactions is limited by the necessity of using expensive and unstable redox equivalents such as nicotinamide cofactors. Here, we report a light-driven cooperative chemoenzymatic system comprised of a photoinduced electron transfer reaction (PET) and a photosensitized energy transfer reaction (PEnT) with an enzymatic reduction in one-pot to synthesize chiral building blocks of bioactive compounds. As a proof of concept, ene-reductase was directly regenerated by PET in the absence of external cofactors. Meanwhile, enzymatic reduction worked cooperatively with photocatalyst-catalyzed energy transfer that continuously replenished the reactive isomer from the less reactive one. The whole system stereoconvergently reduced E/Z mixtures of alkenes to the enantiopure products. Additionally, enantioselective enzymatic reduction worked competitively with photocatalyst-catalyzed racemic background reaction and side reactions to channel the overall electron flow to the single enantiopure product. Such a light-driven cooperative chemoenzymatic system holds great potential for asymmetric synthesis using inexpensive petroleum or biomass-derived alkenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9431-9437
Number of pages7
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 21 2020


  • alkene reduction
  • biocatalysis
  • cooperative chemoenzymatic catalysis
  • photoinduced electron transfer
  • photosensitized energy transfer
  • selectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Stereoconvergent Reduction of Activated Alkenes by a Nicotinamide Free Synergistic Photobiocatalytic System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this