1-(3,4-Dihydroxyphenyl) ethanol was
produced biocatalytically for the first time using mushroom tyrosinase.
4-Ethylphenol at 1 mMwas consumed over 12 min giving 0.23 mM 4-ethylcatechol
and 0.36 mM (R/S)-1-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) ethanol (ee 0.5 %). Mushroom
tyrosinase consumed 4-ethylphenol at 6.7 lmol min-1 mg protein-1 while the
rates of formation of 4-ethylcatechol and 1-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) ethanol were
1.1 and 1.9 lmol min-1 mg protein-1. Addition of the ascorbic acid, as a
reducing agent to biotransformation reactions, increased 4-ethylcatechol
formation by 340 %. However, accumulation of 1-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) ethanol
was not observed in the presence of ascorbic acid. While the
1-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) ethanol was racemic, it is the first chiral product
produced by tyrosinase starting from a non-chiral substrate.