I found an interesting article as posted in Chemical & Engineering News, Feb. 1st, 2010, pg. 7. Organofluorine compounds are quite important in the pharmaceutical arena, so there is some desire to actually synthesize fluoro compounds. I know of, at least one, off by heart, fluoxetine hydrochloride from my past. From the little bit of knowledge, I do know, it is quite a nasty bit of chemistry to introduce a fluorine into a molecule. DAST seems to come to mind as one of those reagents that you might use. Anyhow, back in 2002, there was a discovery of a fluorinase in a soil bacteria, Streptomyces cattleya, which would transfer fluoride ion to form C-F bonds. Pretty cool !! David O’Hagan from University of St. Andrew’s (Scotland) was the first to isolate and determine the function of the fluorinase. O’Hagan with Alessandra S. Eustaquio and Bradley S. Moore of Scripps Institute of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego collaborated together to put this enzyme to work. Although I know that there are certain reactions out there that employ milder conditions, I find it interesting that there exists a fluorinase (who would have known). Now mind you, this isn’t optimized yet but it is very encouraging.
J. Nat. Prod. DOI:10.1021/np900719u