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J Org Chem. 2000 Apr 21;65(8):2560-7.

Synthesis of phytyl- and chroman-derivatized photoaffinity labels based on alpha-tocopherol.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.


Photoaffinity analogues of alpha-tocopherol have been prepared by substituting photosensitive functional groups at either the terminus of an alkyl chain of varying length mimicking the phytyl tail or on C-3 of the chroman portion of tocopherol. The alkyl chain-modified compounds 2a-d contain a hexyl to nonyl alkyl chain extending from C-2 of the chroman, terminating in a tetrafluoroazidobenzyloxy group. These compounds were prepared starting from the commercially available Trolox acid 4, followed by esterification, protection, and reduction to the silyl-protected Trolox aldehyde 7, which was coupled using Wittig chemistry to different omega-hydroxyphosphonium bromides. Reduction of the alkene product, coupling with p-azidotetrafluorobenzyl bromide, and deprotection of the phenolic silyl group gave compounds 2a-d in excellent yields. Chroman-functionalized photoaffinity labels were synthesized starting from the protected tocopherol chromene 16b which was a key intermediate for preparation of a 3-hydroxy derivative, either by reduction of epoxides produced directly with Jacobsen's catalysts or by treatment with NBS in wet DME to give two stereoisomeric bromohydrins which were cyclized and reduced to give the phenol-protected C-3 alcohols 19a,b. These alcohols were then converted to diazoacetate esters, and the protecting group was removed to give 3-diazoacetoxy alpha-tocopherols 3a,b.

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