Biomimetic oxidative copolymerization of hydroxystilbenes and monolignols

Sci Adv. 2023 Mar 10;9(10):eade5519. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.ade5519. Epub 2023 Mar 8.


Hydroxystilbenes are a class of polyphenolic compounds that behave as lignin monomers participating in radical coupling reactions during the lignification. Here, we report the synthesis and characterization of various artificial copolymers of monolignols and hydroxystilbenes, as well as low-molecular-mass compounds, to obtain the mechanistic insights into their incorporation into the lignin polymer. Integrating the hydroxystilbenes, resveratrol and piceatannol, into monolignol polymerization in vitro, using horseradish peroxidase to generate phenolic radicals, produced synthetic lignins [dehydrogenation polymers (DHPs)]. Copolymerization of hydroxystilbenes with monolignols, especially sinapyl alcohol, by in vitro peroxidases notably improved the reactivity of monolignols and resulted in substantial yields of synthetic lignin polymers. The resulting DHPs were analyzed using two-dimensional NMR and 19 synthesized model compounds to confirm the presence of hydroxystilbene structures in the lignin polymer. The cross-coupled DHPs confirmed both resveratrol and piceatannol as authentic monomers participating in the oxidative radical coupling reactions during polymerization.

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetics*
  • Lignin* / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Polymerization
  • Resveratrol


  • 3,3',4,5'-tetrahydroxystilbene
  • Resveratrol
  • Lignin