Next Article in Journal
Fischer–Tropsch: Product Selectivity–The Fingerprint of Synthetic Fuels
Previous Article in Journal
Heterogeneous Fenton-Like Degradation of p-Nitrophenol over Tailored Carbon-Based Materials
Previous Article in Special Issue
Microbial Reduction of Cholesterol to Coprostanol: An Old Concept and New Insights
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Catalysts 2019, 9(3), 260;

Biocatalyzed Synthesis of Statins: A Sustainable Strategy for the Preparation of Valuable Drugs

Department of Chemistry in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid, Campus de Moncloa, E-28040 Madrid, Spain
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
Full-Text   |   PDF [2719 KB, uploaded 14 March 2019]   |  


Statins, inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, are the largest selling class of drugs prescribed for the pharmacological treatment of hypercholesterolemia and dyslipidaemia. Statins also possess other therapeutic effects, called pleiotropic, because the blockade of the conversion of HMG-CoA to (R)-mevalonate produces a concomitant inhibition of the biosynthesis of numerous isoprenoid metabolites (e.g., geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) or farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP)). Thus, the prenylation of several cell signalling proteins (small GTPase family members: Ras, Rac, and Rho) is hampered, so that these molecular switches, controlling multiple pathways and cell functions (maintenance of cell shape, motility, factor secretion, differentiation, and proliferation) are regulated, leading to beneficial effects in cardiovascular health, regulation of the immune system, anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, prevention and treatment of sepsis, treatment of autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, kidney and neurological disorders, or even in cancer therapy. Thus, there is a growing interest in developing more sustainable protocols for preparation of statins, and the introduction of biocatalyzed steps into the synthetic pathways is highly advantageous—synthetic routes are conducted under mild reaction conditions, at ambient temperature, and can use water as a reaction medium in many cases. Furthermore, their high selectivity avoids the need for functional group activation and protection/deprotection steps usually required in traditional organic synthesis. Therefore, biocatalysis provides shorter processes, produces less waste, and reduces manufacturing costs and environmental impact. In this review, we will comment on the pleiotropic effects of statins and will illustrate some biotransformations nowadays implemented for statin synthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: biocatalysis; biotransformations; statins; pleiotropic effects biocatalysis; biotransformations; statins; pleiotropic effects

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hoyos, P.; Pace, V.; Alcántara, A.R. Biocatalyzed Synthesis of Statins: A Sustainable Strategy for the Preparation of Valuable Drugs. Catalysts 2019, 9, 260.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Catalysts EISSN 2073-4344 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top