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Enantioselective Enzyme-Catalysed Synthesis of Cyanohydrins

[ Vol. 6 , Issue. 1 ]


Jarle Holt and Ulf Hanefeld   Pages 15 - 37 ( 23 )


Cyanohydrins are valuable intermediates in organic synthesis. They enable an extensive chemistry that can be implemented starting either from the nitrile or from the hydroxy functionality. A number of challenges relevant to the enzyme-catalysed synthesis of chiral cyanohydrins have been addressed in recent years. In this review we will discuss three topics: (1) The enantioselective synthesis of cyanohydrins catalysed by Hydroxynitrile Lyases (Oxynitrilases); (2) The preparation of enantiopure cyanohydrins catalysed by hydrolases/ lipases via (dynamic) kinetic resolutions and (3) the (in situ) conversion of the enantiopure cyanohydrins, extending the use of cyanohydrins as building blocks in organic synthesis.


Cyanohydrin, hydroxynitrile lyase, oxynitrilase, lipase, kinetic resolution, dynamic kinetic resolution


Gebouw voor Scheikunde, Afdeling Biotechnologie, Technische Universiteit Delft, Julianalaan 136, 2628 BL Delft, The Netherlands.

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