Enzymatic Late‐Stage Modifications: Better Late than Never

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Elvira Romero
  • Bethan S. Jones
  • Bethany N. Hogg
  • Arnau Rué Casamajo
  • Martin A. Hayes
  • Christian Schnepel


Enzyme catalysis is gaining increasing importance in synthetic chemistry. Nowadays, the growing number of biocatalysts accessible by means of bioinformatics and enzyme engineering opens up an immense variety of reactions that can be performed selectively under mild conditions. Biocatalysis especially provides excellent opportunities for late‐stage modification often superior to conventional de ‐ novo ‐synthesis. Enzymes have proven to be useful for direct introduction of functional groups into complex scaffolds, as well as for rapid diversification of compound libraries. Particularly important and highly topical are enzyme‐catalysed oxyfunctionalisations, halogenations, methylations, reductions and amide bond formations due to the high prevalence of these motifs in pharmaceuticals. This review gives an overview of the strengths and limitations of enzymatic late‐stage modifications using native and engineered enzymes in synthesis while focusing on important examples in drug development.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16824-16855
Number of pages32
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2021