A series of ten cis-dihydro-diol metabolites has been obtained by bacterial biotransformation of the corresponding 1,4-disubstituted benzene substrates using Pseudomonas putida UV4, a source of toluene dioxygenase (TDO). Their enantiomeric excess (ee) values have been established using chiral stationary phase HPLC and H-1 NMR spectroscopy. Absolute configurations of the majority of cis-dihydrodiols have been established using stereochemical correlation and X-ray crystallography and the remainder have been tentatively assigned using NMR spectroscopic methods but finally confirmed by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. These configurational assignments support and extend the validity of an empirical model, previously used to predict the preferred stereochemistry of TDO-catalysed cis-dihydroxylation of ten 1,4-disubstituted benzene substrates, to more than twenty-five examples.
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