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Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2000 Apr;48(4):589-91.

An efficient synthesis of the anti-asthmatic agent T-440: a selective N-alkylation of 2-pyridone.

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  • 1Product & Technology Development Laboratory, Tanabe Seiyaku Co., Ltd., Yodogawa, Osaka, Japan.


6,7-Diethoxy-1-[1-(2-methoxyethyl)-2-oxo-1,2-dihydropyridin- 4-yl]naphthalene-2,3-dimethanol [T-440, (1)] is a potential anti-asthmatic agent based on selective phosphodiesterase 4 inhibition. It was necessary for the further evaluation of 1 to develop an efficient synthetic route for 1, especially the construction of the 1-(2-methoxyethyl)-2-pyridone moiety. We examined an N-selective alkylation of pyridone derivative (2) in basic media. 2-Methoxyethylation of 2 with 2-methoxyethyl iodide utilizing LiH as the base gave predominantly an N-alkyl pyridone derivative (3a) in 82% yield (N/O-alkylation=92/8), which is compatible with an ab initio calculation of transition-state structures for the methylation of 2-pyridone. Single crystallization of a crude mixture of 3a and 4a furnished pure 3a, which is a key synthetic intermediate of 1.

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