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Biocatalytic Friedel-Crafts Acylations


This technology provides a biocatalytic method for the regioselective monoacylation of phenols or aminophenols serving as acyl acceptors in the presence of acyl donor molecules of the formula R2-C(=O)-R3 and acyl transferase (ATase) enzymes as catalysts. The produced phenols can be used in different markets, such as cosmetics, aroma (natural), industrial enzymes (5 billion US$ p.a.), biocatalysis, pharmaceutical industry, agricultural chemistry, biological pesticides


The invention targets the biocatalytic and regioselective production of acetylated phenolic compounds. The method allows the synthesis of a series of acetylated phenols, which can be used in various fields, such as e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry or in cosmetics.


In contrast to the chemical Friedel-Crafts acylation, which is usually used for the acylation of phenols, the novel enzymatic acylation takes place regioselectively, under mild temperatures and without the use of toxic and dangerous chemicals ideally in aqueous buffer. Thus the proposed method provides a promising alternative for the preparation of acylated phenols or antioxidants.

The process is based on new enzymes (acyltransferases) derived from bacteria Pseudomonas (P.) protegens (ATase95) and P. brassicacearum (Atase27)


The technology offers the following benefits:

  • environmentally friendly (biocatalysis)
  • specifically/selective (regioselective)
  • no harmful waste material

Moritz Theisen
+43(0)316-873 6925
Technische Universität Graz Graz University of Technology, Mandellstraße 9/II
8010 Graz



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