Asymmetric sulfoxidations mediated by α-chymotrypsin

Prasanta Kumar Das, Jose M.M. Caaveiro, Susana Luque, Alexander M. Klibanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The oxidation of aryl alkyl sulfides with H2O2 in aqueous solution is a reasonably facile reaction producing racemic sulfoxides. We show that in the presence of the hydrolytic enzyme α-chymotrypsin such a sulfoxidation is accelerated and, more importantly, becomes stereoselective. With phenyl isobutyl sulfide as a model, the chymotrypsin-mediated, highly asymmetric oxidation is shown to occur in the hydrophobic binding pocket of the enzyme active site. The stereoselectivity of the chymotrypsin-mediated sulfoxidations is correctly explained by means of structure-based molecular modeling of the enzyme-sulfide complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 5 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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