Chemical Science

Published by Royal Society of Chemistry
Online ISSN: 2041-6539
Print ISSN: 2041-6520
Diarylmethylamines are of great interest due to their prevalence in pharmaceutical chemistry. As a result, new methods for their synthesis are in demand. Herein, we report a versatile protocol for the synthesis of diarylmethylamine derivatives involving palladium-catalyzed arylation of in situ generated 2-azaallyl anion intermediates. The 2-azaallyl anions are generated by reversible deprotonation of readily available aldimine and ketimine precursors. Importantly, the arylated aldimine and ketimine products do not undergo isomerization under the reaction conditions. Scale-up of the arylation and hydrolysis of the resulting products to furnish diarylmethylamines were also successfully performed.
Diazo compounds, which can be accessed directly from azides by deimidogenation, are shown to be extremely versatile dipoles in 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions with a cyclooctyne. The reactivity of a diazo compound can be much greater or much less than its azide analog, and is enhanced markedly in polar-protic solvents. These reactivities are predictable from frontier molecular orbital energies. The most reactive diazo compound exhibited the highest known second-order rate constant to date for a dipolar cycloaddition with a cycloalkyne. These data provide a new modality for effecting chemoselective reactions in a biological context.
A synthesis of 11-methoxy mitragynine pseudoindoxyl, a new member of the mitragynine class of opioid agonists, from a derivative of the Geissman-Waiss lactone is described. An internal attack of an electron-rich aromatic ring on an electrophilic nitrilium ion and a late-stage construction of the functionalized piperidine ring by the method of reductive cyclization are the pivotal transformations; both ring annulations proceed in a highly diastereoselective fashion. The construction of substituted indoxyl frameworks by the interrupted Ugi method offers an attractive alternative to the strategy of oxidatively rearranging indoles.
C3-arylated indazole and pyrazoles are privileged structural motifs in agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. C-3 C-H arylation of (1H) indazole and pyrazole has been a significant challenge due to the poor reactivity of the C-3 position. Herein, we report a practical Pd(II)/Phen catalyst and conditions for direct C-3 arylation of indazole and pyrazole with ArI or ArBr without using Ag additives as halide scavengers. The use of toluene, chlorobenzene, trifluoromethylbenzene and mesitylene as the solvent was found to be crucial for the selectivity and reactivity. We further demonstrate the robustness of this protocol through the first total synthesis of Nigellidine hydrobromide as well as expedient preparation of heterocycles structurally related to pesticides and drug molecules.
This Perspective reviews a new class of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticle substrates defined by their three-dimensional (3D) confinement of localized electromagnetic fields. First, we describe the critical design parameters and recent advances in nanofabrication to create reproducible nanoparticle assemblies for SERS. Next, we highlight a promising platform-gold nanopyramids-for testing how the local arrangement of particles in an assembly affects the overall SERS response. The dimensions and optical properties of the nanopyramids can be tuned easily, and their unique anisotropic shape allows them to be organized into different particle configurations with 3D Raman-active volumes. Because of their large hot-spot volumes, this unique class of nanoparticle substrates offers an attractive alternative for ultra-sensitive sensors and trace chemical analysis.
The direct α, β-dehydrogenation of aldehydes and ketones represents an efficient alternative to stepwise methods to prepare enal and enone products. Here, we describe a new Pd(TFA)(2)/4,5-diazafluorenone dehydrogenation catalyst that overcomes key limitations of previous catalyst systems. The scope includes successful reactivity with pharmaceutically important cyclopentanone and flavanone substrates, as well as acyclic ketones. Preliminary mechanistic studies compare the reactivity of this catalyst to previously reported dehydrogenation catalysts and reveal that cleavage of the α-C-H bond of the ketone is the turnover-limiting step of the catalytic mechanism.
Cysteine plays a number of important functional and structural roles in Nature, often in the realm of catalysis. Herein, we present an example of a cysteine-catalyzed Rauhut-Currier reaction for a potentially biomimetic synthesis of Sch-642305 and related analogs. In this key step of the synthesis we discuss interesting new discoveries and the importance of substrate-catalyst recognition, as well as cysteine's structural features. Also, we investigate the activity of Sch-642305 and four analogs in HIV-infected T-cells.
The total synthesis of hyacinthacine A2 is reported via a novel transannular hydroamination in which planar chirality of a 5-aza-trans-cyclooctene precursor is transferred to point chirality in the product. Key to the success of this strategy was the development of a method for establishing absolute planar chirality via stereocontrolled photoisomerization of a 5-aza-cis-cyclooctene. This was accomplished by constructing a 5-aza-cis-cyclooctene precursor with a trans-fused acetonide. The improved diastereoselectivity observed upon photoisomerization of this derivative is attributed to the conformational strain of the eight-membered ring in the minor diastereomer.
The M2 protein of Influenza A virus forms a homotetrameric proton channel activated by low pH. The His37-Trp41 quartet is the heart of acid activation and proton conductance, but the functional mechanism is still controversial. We carried out ab initio calculations to model the pH-dependent structures of the His37-Trp41 quartet. In our model at neutral pH, the four His37 residues are configured into a pair of dimers; in each dimer, a proton is shared between Nδ1 on one residue and Nε2 on the other, and, under the restraint of the backbone, the two imidazole rings are nearly parallel, in contrast to a perpendicular arrangement for a free imidazole-imidazolium dimer. Within each dimer the +1 charge is highly delocalized, contributing to its stabilization in a low dielectric environment. The Nδ1-H-Nε2 strong hydrogen bonds result in significantly downfield shifted Nδ1 and Nε2 chemical shifts (at 169.7 and 167.6 ppm, respectively), in good agreement with experiments. In our model at acidic pH (where the channel becomes activated), a third proton binds to an imidazole-imidazolium dimer; the imidazole rings rotate away (each by ~55°) from each other, destroying the dimer structure. The two imidazoliums are stabilized by hydrogen bonds with water molecules and a cation-π interaction with Trp41. The Raman spectra calculated for the His37-Trp41 quartet at neutral and acidic pH are in agreement with experiments. Our calculations support an activation and conductance mechanism in which a hydronium ion from the N-terminal side passes a proton to an imidazole-imidazolium dimer; when the Trp41 gate is open, relaying of a proton onto a water molecule from the C-terminal side then allows the imidazole-imidazolium dimer to reform and be ready for the next round of proton conductance.
Optimization of the chiral catalyst
Effect of ester group
The rhodium-catalyzed reaction of electron-deficient alkenes with substituted aryldiazoacetates and vinyldiazoacetates results in highly stereoselective cyclopropanations. With adamantylglycine derived catalyst Rh2(S-TCPTAD)4, high asymmetric induction (up to 98% ee) can be obtained with a range of substrates. Computational studies suggest that the reaction is facilitated by weak interaction between the carbenoid and the substrate carbonyl but subsequently proceeds via different pathways depending on the nature of the carbonyl.. Acrylates and acrylamides result in the formation of cyclopropanation products while the use of unsaturated aldehydes and ketones results in the formation of epoxides.
The enantioselective oxidative C-H functionalization of tetrahydroisoquinoline derivatives is achieved through the merger of photoredox and asymmetric anion-binding catalysis. This combination of two distinct catalysis concepts introduces a potentially general approach to asymmetric transformations in oxidative photocatalysis.
Ligands and precatalysts used in these studies for Pd-catalyzed C–N bond formation (1 and 3 are used for 1°-amines, 2 and 4 are used for 2°-amines).  
Scheme 1.  
We report our studies on the use of two catalyst systems, based on the ligands BrettPhos (1) and RuPhos (2), which provide the widest scope for Pd-catalyzed C-N cross-coupling reactions to date. Often low catalyst loadings and short reaction times can be used with functionalized aryl and heteroaryl coupling partners. The reactions are highly robust and can be set up and performed without the use of a glovebox. These catalysts should find wide application in the synthesis of complex molecules including pharmaceuticals, natural products and functional materials.
Herein we report an enantioselective synthesis of complex cyclopentanones using aliphatic aldehydes and activated enones. With the combination of a chiral secondary amine and a chiral triazolium catalyst, high diastereoselectivity and excellent enantioselectivity can be achieved. We present evidence of a clear cooperative effect when these two catalysts are present simultaneously in the system.
Organocatalytic alkylation of trifluoroborate salts. 37 
The frondosins are a family of marine sesquiterpenes isolated from the sponge Dysidea frondosa that exhibit biological activities ranging from anti-inflammatory properties to potential application in anticancer and HIV therapy. Herein, a concise enantioselective total synthesis of (+)-frondosin B is described which requires a total of three chemical steps. The enantioselective conjugate addition of a benzofuran-derived boronic acid to crotonaldehyde in the presence of an imidazolidinone organocatalyst builds the critical stereogenic center of frondosin B in the first operation, while the remaining two ring systems of this natural product are installed in the two subsequent steps. A combination of X-ray crystallographic data, deuterium labeling, and chemical correlation studies provides further evidence as to the correct absolute stereochemical assignment of (+)-frondosin B.
The trimethyl lock is an o-hydroxydihydrocinnamic acid derivative in which unfavorable steric interactions between three pendant methyl groups encourage lactonization to form a hydrocoumarin. This reaction is extremely rapid, even when the electrophile is an amide and the leaving group is an amino group of a small-molecule drug, fluorophore, peptide, or nucleic acid. O-Acylation of the phenolic hydroxyl group prevents reaction, providing a trigger for the reaction. Thus, the release of an amino group from an amide can be coupled to the hydrolysis of a designated ester (or to another chemical reaction that regenerates the hydroxyl group). Trimethyl lock conjugates are easy to synthesize, making the trimethyl lock a highly versatile module for chemical biology and related fields.
The Fischer indole synthesis is perhaps the most powerful method for indole preparation, but it often suffers from low regioselectivities with unsymmetric aliphatic ketone substrates and strong acidic conditions and is not suitable for α,β-unsaturated ketones. In this article, we disclose an efficient synthesis of N-protected indoles from N-arylhydroxamic acids/N-aryl-N-hydroxycarbamates and a variety of alkynes via a cooperative gold and zinc catalysis. The zinc catalysis is similar to the related zinc ion catalysis in metalloenzymes such as human carbonic anhydrase II and substantially enhances the O-nucleophilicity of N-acylated hydroxamines by forming the corresponding Zn chelates. The Zn chelates can attack gold-activated alkynes to form O-alkenyl-N-arylhydroxamates, which can undergo facile 3,3-sigmatropic rearrangements and subsequent cyclodehydrations to yield N-protected indole products. This new chemistry offers several important improvements over the Fischer indole synthesis: a) the reaction conditions are mildly acidic and can tolerate sensitive groups such as Boc; b) broader substrate scopes including substrates with pendant carbonyl groups (reactive in the Fischer chemistry) and alkyl chlorides (e.g., 3f); c) better regioselectivities for the formation of 2-substituted indoles under much milder conditions; d) 2-alkenylindoles can be prepared readily in good to excellent yields, but the Fischer chemistry could not; e) with internal alkynes both steric and electronic controls are available for achieving good regioselectivities, while the Fischer chemistry is in general problematic.
Synergistic catalysis is a synthetic strategy wherein both the nucleophile and the electrophile are simultaneously activated by two separate and distinct catalysts to afford a single chemical transformation. This powerful catalysis strategy leads to several benefits, specifically synergistic catalysis can (i) introduce new, previously unattainable chemical transformations, (ii) improve the efficiency of existing transformations, and (iii) create or improve catalytic enantioselectivity where stereocontrol was previously absent or challenging. This perspective aims to highlight these benefits using many of the successful examples of synergistic catalysis found in the literature.
A new catalytic synthesis of densely-substituted tetrahydroquinolines is described. This reaction forms up to two rings, three bonds, and three stereogenic centers with excellent stereo- and regiocontrol in a single step. Although control experiments demonstrate that the active catalyst is protic acid, Sc(OTf)3 serves as an effective and practical pre-catalyst. The scope of this reaction is demonstrated with 21 monocyclizations and 14 bicyclization reactions.
The prevalence of hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) reactions in chemical and biological systems has prompted much interest in establishing and understanding the underlying factors that enable this reactivity. Arguments have been advanced that the electronic spin state of the abstractor and/or the spin-density at the abstracting atom are critical for HAT reactivity. This is consistent with the intuition derived from introductory organic chemistry courses. Herein we present an alternative view on the role of spin state and spin-density in HAT reactions. After a brief introduction, the second section introduces a new and simple fundamental kinetic analysis, which shows that unpaired spin cannot be the dominant effect. The third section examines published computational studies of HAT reactions, which indicates that the spin state affects these reactions indirectly, primarily via changes in driving force. The essay concludes with a broader view of HAT reactivity, including indirect effects of spin and other properties on reactivity. It is suggested that some of the controversy in this area may arise from the diversity of HAT reactions and their overlap with proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions.
A class of easily accessible and readily tunable chiral phase transfer catalysts based on 6'-OH cinchonium salts was found to efficiently catalyze an unprecedented highly enantioselective Darzens reaction of α-chloro ketones and aldehydes, which directly produces optically active chiral epoxides from readily available carbonyl compounds.
Scheme 1.
The palladium-catalyzed oxidative desymmetrization of meso dibenzoates yields γ-benzoyloxy cycloalkenones in good yields and with excellent levels of enantioselectivity. These compounds serve as precursors to a broad range of substituted cycloalkenones, including well-established synthetic building blocks and elaborated cycloalkanone derivatives. The ability to prepare both enantiomers of the oxidative desymmetrization products enables a unified strategy toward stereochemically diverse epoxyquinoid natural products.
A catalytic asymmetric double (1,3)-dipolar cycloaddition reaction has been developed. Using a chiral silver catalyst, enantioenriched pyrrolizidines can be prepared in one flask from inexpensive, commercially available starting materials. The pyrrolizidine products contain a variety of substitution patterns and as many as six stereogenic centers.
An effective phosphine-catalyzed method has been developed for the enantioselective addition of aryl thiols to the γ position of allenoates, thereby furnishing ready access to aryl alkyl sulfides in very good ee. An array of mechanistic data are consistent with addition of the chiral phosphine to the allenoate being the turnover-limiting step of the catalytic cycle. The optimized reaction conditions, as well as the mechanistic observations, differ markedly from an earlier report on asymmetric additions of alkyl thiols to allenoates, which highlights the potential for divergent behavior between alkyl and aryl thiols when serving as nucleophiles.
We report a method for the crossed [2+2] cycloaddition of styrenes using visible light photocatalysis. Few methods for the synthesis of unsymmetrically substituted cyclobutanes by photochemical [2+2] cycloaddition are known. We show that careful tuning of the electrochemical properties of a ruthenium photocatalyst enable the efficient crossed [2+2] cycloaddition of styrenes upon irradiation with visible light. We outline the logic that enables high crossed chemoselectivity, and we also demonstrate that this reaction is remarkably efficient; gram-scale reactions can be conducted with as little as 0.025 mol% of the photocatalyst.
Controlled isomerization of the double bond of certain Diels-Alder reactions provides substrates that, upon oxidation, give rise to products whose gross structure corresponds to that of a Robinson annulation. In these cases, the stereochemistry of the Robinson annulation product reflects the fact that the initial combination occurred in a Diels-Alder mode. Using these principles, we have synthesized carissone and cosmosoic acid. In the latter case, our total synthesis raised serious questions as to the accuracy of the assigned structure of the natural product.
Figure S1 . ORTEP view of 6a-phenyl-6a-hydro-12b-methoxybenzophenanthrene 
Two reactions of phenols with arynes have been developed. If LiTMP base is employed, arynes generated from aryl chlorides react with phenols to form helicenes. o-Arylation of phenols can be achieved by employing tBuONa base in the presence of AgOAc. Direct arylation of binol was achieved leading to the shortest pathway to o,o'-diarylbinols.
This perspective surveys the history of- and recent advances in- metallacycle-mediated coupling chemistry of substituted alkenes. While the reaction of preformed metal-π complexes with ethylene was reported nearly 30 years ago, the generalization of this mode of bimolecular C-C bond formation to the regio- and stereoselective union of complex substrates has only recently begun to emerge. This perspective discusses early observations in this area, the challenges associated with controlling such processes, the evolution of a general strategy to overcome these challenges, and a summary of highly regio- and stereoselective convergent coupling reactions that are currently available by metallacycle-mediated cross-coupling with substituted alkenes.
Torsional effects control the π-facial stereoselectivities of a variety of synthetically important organic reactions. This review surveys theoretical calculations that have led to the understanding of the influence of the torsional effects on several types of stereoselective organic reactions, especially electrophilic additions and cycloadditions to alkenes.
The majority of N-heterocyclic carbene catalyzed reactions of α-functionalized aldehydes, including annulations, oxidations, and redox reactions, occur more rapidly with N-mesityl substituted NHCs. In many cases, no reaction occurs with NHCs lacking ortho-substituted aromatics. By careful competition studies, catalyst analogue synthesis, mechanistic investigations, and consideration of the elementary steps in NHC-catalyzed reactions of enals, we have determined that the effect of the N-mesityl group is to render the initial addition of the NHC to the aldehyde irreversible, thereby accelerating the formation of the Breslow intermediate. These studies rationalize the experimentally observed catalyst preference for all classes of NHC-catalyzed reactions of aldehydes and provide a roadmap for catalyst selection and design.
A direct method to synthesize lignan cyclobutanes and analogs via photoinduced electron transfer is presented. A variety of oxygenated alkenes are employed to furnish terminal or substituted cyclobutane adducts with complete regiocontrol, yielding cycloadducts with trans stereochemistry. Key to minimizing competing cycloreversion is the inclusion of an aromatic electron relay (ER). This method has been adapted to the synthesis of the natural products magnosalin and pellucidin A.
The recent development of new gold(I) catalysis methodologies has opened the door to new disconnections for the total synthesis of bioactive complex molecules. Below is described the application of a gold(I)-catalyzed hydroarylation of an allene with indole toward the total synthesis of flinderoles B-C, members of a new class of antimalarial bisindole alkaloids isolated from plants of the Flindersia genus. The key gold(I) step establishes both the pyrrolidine and isobutenyl functionalities unique to these compounds. Other important steps of the synthesis include a convergent Horner-Wadsworth-Emmons olefination to construct the bridging alkene and a new strategy for α-indole enolate alkylations.
A racemic Au(I)-catalyzed three-component reaction has been developed to prepare cyclic carbamimidates from imines, terminal alkynes, and sulfonylisocyanates. This reaction exploits the carbophilic π-acidity of gold catalysts to first activate an alkyne toward deprotonation and secondly, to activate the internal alkyne generated toward intramolecular O-cyclization. Unlike similar previously reported multicomponent gold-catalyzed reactions, the stereocenter generated during the alkynylation is preserved in the product. This trait was exploited by developing an enantioselective variant, using an unusual trans-1-diphenylphosphino-2-arylsulfamidocyclohexane ligand. Moderate to excellent levels of enantioselectivity were obtained using a variety of N-arylbenzylidene anilines (41-95% ee, 18 examples).
Enantioselective organo-SOMO cyclization: Reaction scope 
The intramolecular asymmetric cyclization of aldehydes has been accomplished using singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO) catalysis. Selective oxidation of chiral enamines (formed by the condensation of an aldehyde and a secondary amine catalyst) leads to the formation of a 3π-electron radical species. These chiral SOMO-activated radical cations undergo enantioselective cyclization with an array of pendent allylsilanes thus efficiently providing a new approach to the construction of five-, six- and seven-membered carbocycles and heterocycles.
A new enantioselective α-oxidation of aldehydes has been accomplished using TEMPO and a synergistic combination of copper and organic catalysis. Expanding upon recently reported mechanistic studies, these mild catalytic conditions provide stable aldehyde products bearing a wide array of electronically and sterically diverse substructures. The utility of these oxidized products is highlighted by subsequent derivatization to a variety of common chiral synthons, without loss in enantiopurity.
A stereodivergent synthesis of the [3.3.1] bicyclic core of edaxadiene was completed utilizing a key intramolecular oxidative ketone allylation. Significant discrepancies between the spectroscopic data obtained for the synthetic construct and the natural isolate raised questions about the structural assignment of edaxadiene. A subsequent structural reassignment was validated by completion of a total synthesis of the correct structure of the natural product.
We herein report the Rh(iii)-catalyzed C-H bond activation and addition of benzimidates to aldehydes to afford biologically important phthalides in a single step. The imidate is a novel and unexplored directing group that not only enables C-H bond activation and addition to aldehydes, but also serves to capture the reversibly formed alcohol intermediate. The reaction shows broad scope with a high level of functional group compatibility and is applicable to both aromatic and aliphatic aldehydes.
This perspective summarizes recent results, which demonstrate that stable carbenes can activate small molecules (CO, H(2), NH(3) and P(4)) and stabilize highly reactive intermediates (main group elements in the zero oxidation state and paramagnetic species). These two tasks were previously exclusive for transition metal complexes.
A domino sequence has been developed between vinyldiazoacetates and racemic allyl alcohols, involving five distinct steps. The sequence generates highly functionalized cyclopentanes with four new stereogenic centers as single diastereomers in 64-92% ee. The first step is a rhodium-catalyzed oxygen ylide formation, which is then followed by a [2,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement, an oxy-Cope rearrangement, a keto/enol tautomerization, and then finally a carbonyl ene reaction. With appropriate substrates, a further silyl deprotection and a 6-exo-trig cyclization can be added to the domino process.
An operationally simple, copper-catalyzed arylation of N-tosyltryptamines provides direct access to C3-aryl pyrroloindolines. A range of electron-donating and electron-withdrawing substituents is tolerated on both the indole backbone and the aryl electrophile. These reactions occur under ambient temperatures and with equimolar quantities of the coupling partners.
N-heterocyclic carbenes catalyze the rearrangement of 1,1-bis(arylsulfonyl)ethylene to the corresponding trans-1,2-bis(phenylsulfonyl) under mild conditions. Tandem rearrangement/cycloadditions have been developed to capitalize on this new process and generate highly substituted isoxazolines and additional heterocyclic compounds. Preliminary mechanistic studies support a new conjugate addition/Umpolung process involving the ejection and subsequent unusual re-addition of a sulfinate ion.
Cancers of diverse origins exhibit marked glucose avidity and high rates of aerobic glycolysis. Increased understanding of this dysfunctional metabolism known as the Warburg effect has led to an interest in targeting it for cancer therapy. One promising strategy for such targeting is glycoconjugation, the linking of a drug to glucose or another sugar. This review summarizes the most salient examples of glycoconjugates, in which known cytotoxins or targeted anticancer therapeutics have been linked to glucose (or another glucose transporter substrate sugar) for improved cancer targeting and selectivity. Building on these examples, this review also provides a series of guidelines for the design and mechanistic evaluation of future glycoconjugates.
Amino acid radical generation and transport are fundamentally important to numerous essential biological processes to which small molecule models lend valuable mechanistic insights. Pyridyl-amino acid-methyl esters are appended to a rhenium(I) tricarbonyl 1,10-phenanthroline core to yield rhenium-amino acid complexes with tyrosine ([Re]-Y-OH) and phenylalanine ([Re]-F). The emission from the [Re] center is more significantly quenched for [Re]-Y-OH upon addition of base. Time-resolved studies establish that excited-state quenching occurs by a combination of static and dynamic mechanisms. The degree of quenching depends on the strength of the base, consistent with a proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) quenching mechanism. Comparative studies of [Re]-Y-OH and [Re]-F enable a detailed mechanistic analysis of a bidirectional PCET process.
Photosystem II supports four manganese centers through nine oxidation states from manganese(II) during assembly through to the most oxidized state before O2 formation and release. The protein-based carboxylate and imidazole ligands allow for significant changes of the coordination environment during the incorporation of hydroxido and oxido ligands upon oxidation of the metal centers. We report the synthesis and characterization of a series of tetramanganese complexes in four of the six oxidation states from MnII3MnIII to MnIII2 MnIV2 with the same ligand framework (L) by incorporating four oxido ligands. A 1,3,5-triarylbenzene framework appended with six pyridyl and three alkoxy groups was utilized along with three acetate anions to access tetramanganese complexes, Mn4O x , with x = 1, 2, 3, and 4. Alongside two previously reported complexes, four new clusters in various states were isolated and characterized by crystallography, and four were observed electrochemically, thus accessing the eight oxidation states from MnII4 to MnIIIMnIV3. This structurally related series of compounds was characterized by EXAFS, XANES, EPR, magnetism, and cyclic voltammetry. Similar to the ligands in the active site of the protein, the ancillary ligand (L) is preserved throughout the series and changes its binding mode between the low and high oxido-content clusters. Implications for the rational assembly and properties of high oxidation state metal-oxido clusters are presented.
We outline a strategy to enable non-directed Pd(II)-catalyzed C-H functionalization in the presence of Lewis basic heterocycles. In a high-throughput screen of two Pd-catalyzed C-H acetoxylation reactions, addition of a variety of N-containing heterocycles is found to cause low product conversion. A pyridine-containing test substrate is selected as representative of heterocyclic scaffolds that are hypothesized to cause catalyst arrest. We pursue two approaches in parallel that allow product conversion in this representative system: Lewis acids are found to be effective in situ blocking groups for the Lewis basic site, and a pre-formed pyridine N-oxide is shown to enable high yield of allylic C-H acetoxylation. Computational studies with density functional theory (M06) of binding affinities of selected heterocycles to Pd(OAc)2 provide an inverse correlation of the computed heterocycle-Pd(OAc)2 binding affinities with the experimental conversions to products. Additionally, (1)H NMR binding studies provide experimental support for theoretical calculations.
Phenolic fluorophores such as fluorescein, Tokyo Green, resorufin, and their derivatives are workhorses of biological science. Acylating the phenolic hydroxyl group(s) in these fluorophores masks their fluorescence. The ensuing ester is a substrate for cellular esterases, which can restore fluorescence. These esters are, however, notoriously unstable to hydrolysis, severely compromising their utility. The acetoxymethyl (AM) group is an esterase-sensitive motif that can mask polar functionalities in small molecules. Here, we report on the use of AM ether groups to mask phenolic fluorophores. The resulting profluorophores have a desirable combination of low background fluorescence, high chemical stability, and high enzymatic reactivity, both in vitro and in cellulo. These simple phenyl ether-based profluorophores could supplement or supplant the use of phenyl esters for imaging biochemical and biological systems.
An asymmetric palladium-catalyzed conjugate addition reaction of arylboronic acids to enone substrates was investigated mechanistically. Desorption electrospray ionization coupled to mass spectrometry was used to identify intermediates of the catalytic cycle and delineate differences in substrate reactivity. Our findings provide evidence for the catalytic cycle proceeding through formation of an arylpalladium(II) cation, subsequent formation of an arylpalladium-enone complex, and, ultimately, formation of the new C-C bond. Reaction monitoring in both positive and negative ion modes revealed that 4-iodophenylboronic acid formed a relatively stable trimeric species under the reaction conditions.
Nylon nucleic acids containing oligouridine nucleotides with pendent polyamide linkers and flanked by unmodified heteronucleotide sequences were prepared by DNA templated synthesis. Templation was more efficient than the single-stranded synthesis: Coupling step yields were as high as 99.2%, with up to 7 amide linkages formed in the synthesis of a molecule containing 8 modified nucleotides. Controlled digestion by calf spleen phosphodiesterase enabled the mapping of modified nucleotides in the sequences. A combination of complete degradation of nylon nucleic acids by snake venom phosphodiesterase and dephosphorylation of the resulting nucleotide fragments by bacterial alkaline phosphatase, followed by LCMS analysis, clarified the linear structure of the oligo-amide linkages. The templated synthesis strategy afforded nylon nucleic acids in the target structure and was compatible with the presence heteronucleotides. The complete digestion procedure produced a new species of DNA analogues, nylon ribonucleosides, which display nucleosides attached via a 2'-alkylthio linkage to each diamine and dicarboxylate repeat unit of the original nylon nucleic acids. The binding affinity of a nylon ribonucleoside octamer to the complementary DNA was evaluated by thermal denaturing experiments. The octamer was found to form stable duplexes with an inverse dependence on salt concentration, in contrast to the salt-dependent DNA control.
Many modern super-resolution imaging methods based on single-molecule fluorescence require the conversion of a dark fluorogen into a bright emitter to control emitter concentration. We have synthesized and characterized a nitro-aryl fluorogen which can be converted by a nitroreductase enzyme into a bright push-pull red-emitting fluorophore. Synthesis of model compounds and optical spectroscopy identify a hydroxyl-amino derivative as the product fluorophore, which is bright and detectable on the single-molecule level for fluorogens attached to a surface. Solution kinetic analysis shows Michaelis-Menten rate dependence upon both NADH and the fluorogen concentrations as expected. The generation of low concentrations of single-molecule emitters by enzymatic turnovers is used to extract subdiffraction information about localizations of both fluorophores and nitroreductase enzymes in cells. Enzymatic Turnover Activated Localization Microscopy (ETALM) is a complementary mechanism to photoactivation and blinking for controlling the emission of single molecules to image beyond the diffraction limit.
The reaction of soluble iron-oxygen-potassium assemblies with N2 gives insight into the mechanisms of multimetallic N2 coordination. We report a series of very electron-rich three-coordinate, β-diketiminate-supported iron(I) phenoxide complexes, which are metastable but have been characterized under Ar by both crystallography and solution methods. Both monomeric and dimeric Fe-OPh-K compounds have been characterized, and their iron environments are very similar in the solid and solution states. In the dimer, potassium ions hold together the phenoxide oxygens and aryl rings of the two halves, to give a flexible diiron core. The reactions of the monomeric and dimeric iron(I) compounds with N2 are surprisingly different: the mononuclear iron(I) complexes give no reaction with N2, but the dimeric Fe2K2 complex reacts rapidly to give a diiron-N2 product. Computational studies show that the key to the rapid N2 reaction of the dimer is the preorganization of the two iron atoms. Thus, cooperation between Fe (which weakens the N-N bond) and K (which orients the Fe atoms) can be used to create a low-energy pathway for N2 reactions.
Ageliferin is a marine natural product having antiviral and antimicrobial activities. These functions remain to be characterized at a molecular level. Ageliferin is also thought a biosynthetic intermediary linking oroidin type alkaloids to more complex polycyclic derivatives. This scenario has the amino tetrahydrobenzimidazole motif in ageliferin serving as a reduced progenitor of oxidized, ring-contracted spirocycles. Here we describe the reverse. Namely, a concise synthesis of ageliferin which features ring expansion of a spirocyclic precursor - itself derived from reduction. The pathway also provides access to unique isosteres of the axinellamine ring system, allowing new synthetic additions to the growing family of pyrrole / imidazole alkaloids.
Top-cited authors
Heron Vrubel
  • Nel Hydrogen
Ben Zhong Tang
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Michael D. Mcgehee
  • Stanford University
Jeffrey Dennis Rinehart
  • University of California, San Diego
Eric T Hoke
  • Stanford University