Affiliation: ACIB GmbH (Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology GmbH), Petersgasse 14/III, A-8010 Graz, Austria.
Hydroxynitrile lyases (HNLs) catalyze the cleavage as well as the formation of cyanohydrins. The latter reaction is valuable for the stereoselective C-C bond formation by condensation of HCN with carbonyl compounds. The resulting cyanohydrins serve as versatile building blocks for a broad range of chemical and enzymatic follow-up reactions. A significant number of (R)- and (S)-selective HNLs are known today and the number is still increasing. HNLs not only exhibit varying substrate scope but also differ in sequence and structure. Tailor-made enzymes for large-scale manufacturing of cyanohydrins with improved yield and enantiomeric excess are very interesting targets, which is reflected in a solid number of patents. This review will complement and extend our recent review with a strong focus on applications of HNLs for the synthesis of highly functionalized, chiral compounds with newest literature, recent and current patent literature.