The potential of biocatalysis becomes increasingly recognized as an efficient and green tool for modern organic synthesis. Biocatalytic promiscuity, a new frontier extended the use of enzymes in organic synthesis, has attracted much attention and expanded rapidly in the past decade. It focuses on the enzyme catalytic activities with unnatural substrates and alternative chemical transformations. Exploiting enzyme catalytic unconventional reactions might lead to improvements in existing catalysts and provide novel synthesis pathways that are currently not available. Among these enzymes, hydrolase (such as lipase, protease, acylase) undoubtedly has received special attention since they display remarkable activities for some unexpected reactions such as aldol reaction and other novel carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond-forming reactions. This chapter introduces the recent progress in hydrolase catalytic unconventional reactions and application in organic synthesis. Some important examples of hydrolase catalytic unconventional reactions in addition reactions are reviewed, highlighting the catalytic promiscuity of hydrolases focuses on aldol reaction, Michael addition, and multicomponent reactions.
Part of the book: Molecular Biotechnology