Synthetic biomimetic coenzymes and alcohol dehydrogenases for asymmetric catalysis

Laia Josa-Culleré, Antti S.K. Lahdenperä, Aubert Ribaucourt, Georg T. Höfler, Serena Gargiulo, Yuan Yang Liu, Francesca Paradisi, Frank Hollmann*, Caroline E. Paul, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
122 Downloads (Pure)


Redox reactions catalyzed by highly selective nicotinamide-dependent oxidoreductases are rising to prominence in industry. The cost of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide coenzymes has led to the use of well-established elaborate regeneration systems and more recently alternative synthetic biomimetic cofactors. These biomimetics are highly attractive to use with ketoreductases for asymmetric catalysis. In this work, we show that the commonly studied cofactor analogue 1-benzyl-1,4-dihydronicotinamide (BNAH) can be used with alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) under certain conditions. First, we carried out the rhodium-catalyzed recycling of BNAH with horse liver ADH (HLADH), observing enantioenriched product only with unpurified enzyme. Then, a series of cell-free extracts and purified ketoreductases were screened with BNAH. The use of unpurified enzyme led to product formation, whereas upon dialysis or further purification no product was observed. Several other biomimetics were screened with various ADHs and showed no or very low activity, but also no inhibition. BNAH as a hydride source was shown to directly reduce nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to NADH. A formate dehydrogenase could also mediate the reduction of NAD from BNAH. BNAH was established to show no or very low activity with ADHs and could be used as a hydride donor to recycle NADH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number207
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Alcohol dehydrogenases
  • Cofactor regeneration
  • Formate dehydrogenase
  • Nicotinamide coenzyme biomimetics
  • Rhodium catalyst


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