Chemists discover biology’s version of the Friedel-Crafts alkylation | July 3, 2017 Issue - Vol. 95 Issue 27 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 95 Issue 27 | p. 7 | News of The Week
Issue Date: July 3, 2017 | Web Date: June 29, 2017

Chemists discover biology’s version of the Friedel-Crafts alkylation

Newly detected enzyme alkylates aromatic rings during biosynthesis of cylindrocyclophanes
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Organic SCENE
Keywords: Chemical biology, Friedel-Crafts alkylation, halogenase, cylindrocyclophane

By chemistry standards, the Friedel-Crafts alkylation is a venerable reaction. First reported by chemists Charles Friedel and James Crafts in 1877, the reaction attaches an alkyl substituent to an aromatic ring using an alkyl halide as one of the reactants. It turns out that Nature has been doing this reaction for even longer—scientists just didn’t know it until now.

Harvard University’s Emily P. Balskus, Hitomi Nakamura, and Erica E. Schultz have discovered . . .

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