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Our research interest focuses around the application of halohydrin dehalogenases (HHDH) for organic synthesis. In particular, we are interested in biocatalytic epoxide ring-opening reactions using HHDH, Scheme. From the viewpoint of organic chemists, HHDHs are valuable catalysts that can be used for the enantioselective and regioselective syntheses of a wide range of 1,2-difunctionalised chiral compounds.

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Current projects on HHDHs involve:

  • Synthesis of optically pure fluorine containing building blocks
  • Chemoenzymatic synthesis
  • Biotransformation with engineered HHDH
  • Application of HHDH in organic media

 Methods we are using:

  • Expression of enzymes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Chiral analysis (GC/HPLC)
  • Process development
  • Molecular modelling

Selected publications:

Majerić Elenkov, M.; Čičak, M.; Knežević, A.; Smolko, A. , Halohydrin dehalogenase-catalysed transformations of epifluorohydrin, Tetrahedron Lett., 2018, 59, 406-408.

Mikleušević, A.; Primožić, I.; Hrenar, T.;  Salopek-Sondi, B.; Tang, L.; Majerić Elenkov, M., Azidolysis of epoxides catalysed by the halohydrin dehalogenase from Arthrobacter sp. AD2 and a mutant with enhanced enantioselectivity: an (S)-selective HHDH, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 2016, 27, 930-935.

Mikleušević, A.; Hameršak, Z.; Salopek-Sondi, B.; Tang, L.; Janssen, D. B.; Majerić Elenkov, M., Oxazolidinone Synthesis through Halohydrin Dehalogenase-Catalyzed Dynamic Kinetic Resolution, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2015, 357, 1709-1714.

Majerić Elenkov, M.; Primožič, I.; Hrenar, T.; Smolko, A.; Dokli, I.; Salopek-Sondi, B.; Tang, L., Catalytic activity of halohydrin dehalogenases towards spiroepoxides, Org. Biomol. Chem. 2012, 10, 5063-5072.

Book chapter:

Majerić Elenkov, M.; Szymanski, W.; Janssen D. B.; Reactions Catalyzed by Halohydrin Dehalogenases, Science of Synthesis; Biocatalysis in Organic Synthesis 2, Faber, K.; Fessner, W.-D. ; Turner, N. (Eds.), Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag KG, 2014, 507-527.



Biocatalytic equipment

  • Thermoshaker (Thermo Scientific)
  • Centrifuge (Thermo Scientific)
  • Ultrasonic homogenizer (Badelin)

Analytical equipment

  • GC-FID (Agilent)
  • HPLCs (Agilent, Shimadzu, Knauer)
  • UV/VIS spectrophotometer (Shimadzu)
  • Polarimeter
  • Electrophoresis cell (BIO RAD)

Equipment for organic synthesis:

  • All standard equipment for organic synthesis
  • Kugelrohr (Büchi)
  • Autoclave (Parr)
  • Hydrogenation apparatus  (atmospheric pressure)
  • Refrigerated circulator (Thermo Scientific)

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