Biocatalytic N-Alkylation of Amines Using Either Primary Alcohols or Carboxylic Acids via Reductive Aminase Cascades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Jeremy I. Ramsden
  • Rachel S. Heath
  • Sasha R. Derrington
  • Sarah L. Montgomery
  • Juan Mangas-Sanchez
  • Keith R. Mulholland


The alkylation of amines with either alcohols or carboxylic acids represents a mild and safe alternative to the use of genotoxic alkyl halides and sulfonate esters. Here we report two complementary one-pot systems in which the reductive aminase (RedAm) from Aspergillus oryzae is combined with either (i) a 1° alcohol/alcohol oxidase (AO) or (ii) carboxylic acid/carboxylic acid reductase (CAR) to affect N-alkylation reactions. The application of both approaches has been exemplified with respect to substrate scope and also preparative scale synthesis. These new biocatalytic methods address issues facing alternative traditional synthetic protocols such as harsh conditions, overalkylation and complicated workup procedures.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Early online date2 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019