Artificial Biocatalytic Linear Cascades for Preparation of Organic Molecules

Chem Rev. 2018 Jan 10;118(1):270-348. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.7b00033. Epub 2017 May 8.


The review compiles artificial cascades involving enzymes with a focus on the last 10 years. A cascade is defined as the combination of at least two reaction steps in a single reaction vessel without isolation of the intermediates, whereby at least one step is catalyzed by an enzyme. Additionally, cascades performed in vivo and in vitro are discussed separately, whereby in vivo cascades are defined here as cascades relying on cofactor recycling by the metabolism or on a metabolite from the living organism. The review introduces a systematic classification of the cascades according to the number of enzymes in the linear sequence and differentiates between cascades involving exclusively enzymes and combinations of enzymes with non-natural catalysts or chemical steps. Since the number of examples involving two enzymes is predominant, the two enzyme cascades are further subdivided according to the number, order, and type of redox steps. Furthermore, this classification differentiates between cascades where all reaction steps are performed simultaneously, sequentially, or in flow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Biocatalysis
  • Enzymes / chemistry
  • Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Laccase / chemistry
  • Laccase / metabolism
  • Metals / chemistry
  • Organic Chemicals / chemistry
  • Organic Chemicals / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Enzymes
  • Metals
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Laccase
  • Epoxide Hydrolases