Biocatalytic reactions using enzymes or whole microbial cells are
increasingly employed for organic synthesis, taking advantage of their high
versatility and exquisite selectivities (chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity).
Resolution of racemates and its refinements, desymmetrisation of meso- and
prochiral compounds by oxidoreduction, some C-C bond forming reactions
and other miscellaneous reactions will be outlined, illustrating the most
characteristic aspects of environmentally friendly and yield-effective
production of commodity chemicals, stereospecific building blocks or
intermediates, and competitive step-replacement strategies for asymmetric
Groupe de Biocatalyse, Laboratoire de Chimie et Biochimie Pharmacologiques et Toxicologiques, UMR CNRS 8601, Universite Rene Descartes-Paris V, 45 rue des Saints Peres, 75006 Paris, France.