The innovation engine for new materials

Deanna Bustos

Deanna Bustos




New Mexico Highlands University


Natalia M. Neris

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Yang Yang

Faculty Sponsor's Department(s): 

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Project Title: 

Divergent Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of Difluorinated Bioisosteres of Antibiotics

Project Description: 

Enzymes are natural catalysts that can be tuned by directed evolution to generate efficient biocatalyst. Controlling the stereochemical outcome of radical-mediated reactions has been a challenge in synthetic chemistry and asymmetric catalysis. Efficient synthesis of unique antibacterial compounds is a growing demand due to the increase of antibiotic resistant bacteria. By repurposing a cytochrome P450 metalloenzyme, featuring a first-row transition- metal cofactor with redox properties, the chemoenzymatic synthesis of difluorinated bioisostere of oxazolidinone antibiotics can be controlled to aid in the antibiotic resistance crisis. Exchanging the oxygen atom from an oxazolidinone, such as linezolid (ZyvoxTM), to a CF2 unit enhances desired biological and physical properties without making significant changes to the chemical structure. A CF2 unit is medicinally important with complementary bioactivity and bioavailability to an oxygen atom. We developed synthetic routes for fluorinated antibiotics using engineered enzymes to catalyze a key, stereocenter forming, radical cyclization step intermediate. Proceeding with synthetic cross-coupling reactions to yield the desired difluorinated bioisostere antibiotic product.