A.M. Klibanov, Asymmetric transformations cataluzed by enzymes in organic solvents, Accounts of Chemical Research, 23:114-120, 1990.
Alexander M. Kilbanov (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge): Recent studies have firmly established that, in contrast to the conventional wisdom, enzymes can work as catalysts in organic solvents containing little or no water. Not only do enzymes retain their catalytic integrity in such media, but also, when placed in this unnatural milieu, they exhibit remarkable properties such as greatly enhanced thermostability, radically altered substrated and stereo specificities, molecular memory, and the ability to catalyze new reactions. Conseqently, numerous exciting applications of enzymes as catalysts in organic chemisry are emerging, including facile resolution of racemic mixtures, synthesis of optically active compounds, reioselective modfication of sugars and steroids, asymmetric oxidoreductions, peptide synthesis, polymerization processes. Enzymatic catalysis in organic solvents should benefit industrial production of pharmaceutical compounds, novel food ingredients, and advanced materials."