The dearomatising dihydroxylation of aromatic molecules mediated by arene dioxygenase enzymes can provide cyclohexadiene-diols that are versatile starting materials for organic synthesis. Whereas oxidation of a substituted arene to give its ortho,meta-dihydrodiol has been demonstrated for numerous substrates and dioxygenases, formation of ipso,ortho-dihydrodiols has historically been underutilised in comparison. This feature article presents a chronological account of reported uses of such diols.
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