Biocatalytically generated enantiopure intermediates are exceptionally valuable as starting materials in the syntheses of enantiopure complex organic compounds. Cyclic intermediates are particularly useful because of their inherent tendency to undergo highly diastereoselective transformations. Techniques such as the asymmetrization of meso compounds making either enantiomer available in superior yields, and the employment of enzymes at low temperatures giving improved enantioselectivities promise to facilitate the preparation of such intermediates. Because of their functional group compatibility, their environmentally safe nature, and often their low cost, biocatalysts have become a well recognized means of introducing enantiopurity in organic synthesis.
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