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L-tert-Leucine is an essential amino acid and makes up one third of our muscle protein. It can be used as a food additive. It is used in the formation of sterols. It is used in the production of cobalt oxazoline palladacycles complex, which acts as a catalyst in the rearrangement of prochiral N-aryl trifluoroacetimidates to allylic amides yielded in significantly higher enantioselectivities with the (S)-(pR)-diasteroisomer.
ɑ-Amino acids have been used in combination with NaBH4 for the asymmetric reduction of ketones. Of a number of amino acids the sterically hindered tert-leucine was found to give the highest ee (95%) in the reduction of the carbonyl group of a 1,5-benzothiazepine intermediate in an efficient synthesis of the calcium antagonist diltiazem: J. Org. Chem., 61, 8586 (1996).
Li, J.; Pan, J.; Zhang, J.; Xu, J. H. Stereoselective synthesis of l-tert-leucine by a newly cloned leucine dehydrogenase from Exiguobacterium sibiricum. J. Mol. Catal. B: Enzym. 2014, 105, 11-17.
Liu, W.; Luo, J.; Zhuang, X.; Shen, W.; Zhang, Y.; Li, S.; Hu, Y.; Huang, H. Efficient preparation of enantiopure L-tert-leucine through immobilized penicillin G acylase catalyzed kinetic resolution in aqueous medium. Biochem. Eng. J. 2014, 83, 116-120.