Enzymatic self-sufficient hydride transfer processes
A number of self-sufficient hydride transfer processes have been reported in biocatalysis, with a common feature being the dependence on nicotinamide as a cofactor. This cofactor is provided in catalytic amounts and serves as a hydride shuttle to connect two or more enzymatic redox events, usually ensuring overall redox neutrality. Creative systems were designed to produce synthetic sequences characterized by high hydride economy, typically going in hand with excellent atom economy. Several redox enzymes have been successfully combined in one-pot one-step to allow functionalization of a large variety of molecules while preventing by-product formation. This review analyzes and classifies the various strategies, with a strong focus on efficiency, which is evaluated here in terms of the hydride economy and measured by the turnover number of the nicotinamide cofactor(s). The review ends with a critical evaluation of the reported systems and highlights areas where further improvements might be desirable.