Alkene cleavage catalysed by heme and nonheme enzymes: Reaction mechanisms and biocatalytic applications
The oxidative cleavage of alkenes is classically performed by chemical methods, although they display several drawbacks. Ozonolysis requires harsh conditions (−78 °C, for a safe process) and reducing reagents in a molar amount, whereas the use of poisonous heavy metals such as Cr, Os, or Ru as catalysts is additionally plagued by low yield and selectivity. Conversely, heme and nonheme enzymes can catalyse the oxidative alkene cleavage at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure in an aqueous buffer, showing excellent chemo- and regioselectivities in certain cases. This paper focuses on the alkene cleavage catalysed by iron cofactor-dependent enzymes encompassing the reaction mechanisms (in case where it is known) and the application of these enzymes in biocatalysis.