Access to Lactone Building Blocks via Horse Liver Alcohol Dehydrogenase-Catalyzed Oxidative Lactonization

The oxidative lactonization of 1,4-, 1,5-, and 1,6-diols using horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase (HLADH) is reported. Molecular oxygen was used as terminal electron acceptor by utilization of the laccase-mediator concept to regenerate the oxidized nicotinamide cofactor and producing water as sole byproduct. Spontaneous hydrolysis of the lactone products was identified as a major limiting factor toward preparative application of the system, which can be alleviated by using a two liquid phase approach to extracting the product into an organic solvent.