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Perspectives on biotechnological halogenation Part I: Halogenated products and enzymatic halogenation

LEOPOLDO N. HERRERA-RODRIGUEZ1, FARID KHAN3, KAREN T. ROBINS2, HANS-PETER MEYER2*
*Corresponding author
1. Protein Technologies Ltd, Manchester Science Park, Manchester, M15 6SE, United Kingdom
2. Lonza AG, Visp, Switzerland3. The University of Manchester, MCISB, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom

Abstract

Chemical halogenation is a well-established technology oftenaccompanied by hazardous chemicals and low yields. Enzymatichalogenation on the other hand is not used by the industry,even though the first halogenating enzymes were discoveredin 1956. There is a trend of increased molecular complexity ofhalogenated compounds which contain multiple covalentlysubstituted halogen atoms. Allmost all of the incorporationsof the halogen atoms in active ingredients must proceed withregioselectivity and often also with stereoselectivity. Biologicalhalogenation can provide this specificity and selectivity. Butthe technology transfer to large scale manufacturing andestablished industrial methods are yet to be realized. Recentlydiscovered fluorinases and targeted screening of the marineenvironment should lead to new industrially useful enzymes.