Asymmetric Redox-Neutral Radical Cyclization Catalyzed by Flavin-Dependent ‘Ene’-Reductases

24 June 2019, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Flavin-dependent ‘ene’-reductases (EREDs) are exquisite catalysts for effecting stereoselective reductions. While these reactions typically proceed through a hydride transfer mechanism, we recently found that EREDs can also catalyze reductive dehalogenations and cyclizations via single electron transfer mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that these enzymes can catalyze redox-neutral radical cyclizations to produce enantioenriched oxindoles from a-haloamides. This transformation is a C–C bond forming reaction currently unknown in nature and one for which there are no catalytic asymmetric examples. Mechanistic studies indicate the reaction proceeds via the flavin semiquinone/quinone redox couple, where ground state flavin semiquinone provides the electron for substrate reduction and flavin quinone oxidizes the vinylogous a-amido radical formed after cyclization. This mechanistic manifold was previously unknown for this enzyme family, highlighting the versatility of EREDs in asymmetric synthesis.


FMN cofactor
Asymmetric Synthesis Organic synthesis

Supplementary materials

Supplemental Information


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