Synthesis of Monoterpenoid Derivatives and Evaluation for Biocatalytic Transformations

  • Issa Issa

Student thesis: Phd


Monoterpenoid derivatives are some of the most effective asymmetric controllers used in organic synthesis. They are also precursors in target syntheses, especially in synthesis of natural products with useful biological properties. However, there are still significant opportunities to develop new structural synthetic modifications. This project target focuses on employing commercially available chiral pool cyclic ketones, such as R-(-)-carvone, (+)-isomenthone, and (-)-isopinocamphone to create new potential substrates for biocatalytic modifications, via terpenone enolate alkylations, aldol additions, and formation of alkylidenes. Evaluation of these substrates has been carried out using isolated enzymes as biocatalysts to reduce the double bond and/or carbonyl group, as well expansion of six membered rings by Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase to generate lactone derivatives, consequently resulting in new high-value terpenone, terpenol and lactone derivatives.Bioreduction of R-(-)-carvone substituted (with Me or OH) at C6 and/or C3 via OYEs afforded with highly diastereoselectivity in most cases with varied yields; and there was no activity observed toward substrates with substituents bigger than Me. Biooxidation of dihydrocarvone substituted (Me) at C6 or C3 via cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO_Phi1) was selective, and oxidised only one diastereomer. For instance, (2R,3R,6R)-methyldihydrocarvone was completely converted to lactone with high regio- and enantioselectivity, while for the (2S,3R,6R)-diastereomer no lactone was produced, and starting material was recovered. (+)-Isomenthone, R-(-)-carvone, (-)-isopinocamphone and their derivatives were treated with carbonyl reductase, and only (+)-isomenthone, R-(-)-carvone and anti (5S,6S)-hydroxycarvone showed reaction, with varied yields and selectivities. The bioreduction and oxidation of substrates were scaled up to 50-100 mg as part of chemo-enzymatic reactions. The simulation of substrates with PETNR enzyme was studied, and docking was modelled.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJohn Gardiner (Supervisor)



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