Tailor-made synthesis of cyclic chemicals by means of enzymes

Penicillin-based antibiotics contain a five-membered hydrocarbon cycle, additionally incorporating a sulfur and a nitrogen atom. Nadine Zumbrägel, doctoral student at the Chair of Organic Chemistry I at Bielefeld University, has succeeded in selectively synthesizing this important substructure with different residues on this cycle using a biotechnological method. The targeted design of such structures now enables the preparation of substance libraries of such so-called heterocycles, which can in future be used by the pharmaceutical industry to find new active substances. Besides the Bielefeld chemists, two scientists from the Ruhr-University Bochum were also involved in the studies. The researchers present their findings today (16 May 2018) in the renowned journal Nature Communications with Zumbrägel as first author and Professor Dr. Harald Gröger, head of the Chair of Organic Chemistry I, as corresponding author.

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