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Edited by Wolf-Dieter Fessner and Thorleif Anthonsen Modern biocatalysis stereoselective and environmentally friendly reactions Wiley-VCH 2008 400 pp 110.00И132

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Book Review
Published online in Wiley Interscience: 27 April 2009
( DOI 10.1002/aoc.1499
Book Review
Modern biocatalysis: stereoselective and environmentally
friendly reactions
Wiley-VCH, 2008, 400 pp
price �0.00/�2.00
ISBN978-3-527-32071-4 (hardcover)
Modern Biocatalysis is a collection
of reviews and research reports
with contributions from academic
groups that have recently participated in the COST network D25
programme ?Applied Biocatalysis:
Stereoselective and Environmentally Friendly Reactions Catalysed
by Enzymes? funded by the European Union. The field of applied biocatalysis is of increasing
relevance to the industrial synthetic chemistry community and
the summaries that feature in this
collection are thus a welcome addition to the number of books
already available in the area as they focus largely on recent
developments and are written by some of the world?s leading
practitioners of the associated techniques. The Editors, Professors Fessner and Anthonsen, have done well to draw together this
collection of disparate studies in the area to deliver a volume of admirable focus and overall coherence. The book is broadly divided
into two halves, the first dealing with advances in technology and
techniques and the second with the emphasis more on studies
into reaction chemistry and specific applications. In the first half,
there are excellent reviews of topics of particular contemporary
relevance that are emerging as a consequence of both highthroughput approaches to biocatalyst discovery and also issues of
process optimization and intensification. These include articles on
high-throughput enzyme assays, by Professor Reymond of Berne,
biocatalysis in micro-fluidic reactors by Professor Nidetzky of Graz,
and enzyme immobilisation, by Professor Hanefeld of Delft. Other
articles in the first half focus on more specific techniques areas
such as the effects of enzyme and reaction medium formulation on
crucial parameters such as enzyme activity and enantioselectivity
in kinetic resolution processes. Highlights of the second half of the
book include a detailed summary by Professor Gotor of Oviedo on
the application of hydrolase and deaminase enzymes in the transformation of nucleosides ? valuable because of the immediate
relevance to industrial synthetic problems in carbocylic nucleoside synthesis; an impressive interdisciplinary study into hydantoin
racemases, which incoporates synthetic and process biocatalysis,
protein engineering and structural and mechanistic enzymology;
and an extensive description of the biochemistry and application of monooxygenase enzymes catalysing the Baeyer?Villiger
reaction. Some detail in the later chapters is perhaps superfluous ? there are four articles here on the biotransformation of
nitriles ? presumably reflective of the emphasis within the original
research programme. This has led to repetition of descriptions of,
for example, the promiscuous nitrile hydratase activity observed
in nitrilase enzymes. There may also be some question as to the
balance of material in the volume as a whole ? there are fours
chapters on the biotransformations of nitriles, yet only two to
cover the whole of enzymatic oxidation, with the result that an
area of importance such as selective oxidations using cytochrome
P450 receives only half a page in a volume of almost 400 pages.
However, these aspects should not detract from the overall quality
of the volume, which should prove to be a useful update for
those already active in the biocatalysis area and also a valuable
introduction to the literature, technology areas and applications
for those new to this area of chemistry.
Gideon Grogan
University of York, York, UK
Appl. Organometal. Chem. 2009 , 23, 250
c 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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400, biocatalysts, stereoselective, vch, reaction, fessner, 00и132, environmentalism, thorleif, anthonsen, modern, 110, friendly, 2008, wolf, edited, wiley, dieter
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