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J Org Chem. 2002 Sep 20;67(19):6678-89.

Novel stereoselective control over cis vs trans opening of benzo[c]phenanthrene 3,4-diol 1,2-epoxides by the exocyclic N(2)-amino group of deoxyguanosine in the presence of hexafluoropropan-2-ol.

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  • 1Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


We describe a novel and efficient synthesis (62-84% yields) of the eight possible, diastereomerically pure, cis and trans, R and S O(6)-allyl-protected N(2)-dGuo phosphoramidite building blocks derived through cis and trans opening of (+/-)-3alpha,4beta-dihydroxy-1beta,2beta-epoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[c]phenanthrene [BcPh DE-1 (1)] and (+/-)-3alpha,4beta-dihydroxy-1alpha,2alpha-epoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[c]phenanthrene [BcPh DE-2 (2)] by hexafluoropropan-2-ol (HFP)-mediated addition of O(6)-allyl-3',5'-di-O-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-2'-deoxyguanosine (3) at C-1 of the epoxides. Simply changing the relative amount of HFP used in the reaction mixture can achieve a wide ratio of cis/trans addition products. Thus, the observed cis/trans adduct ratio for the reaction of DE-1 (1) in the presence of 5 equiv of 3 varied from 17/83 to 91/9 over the range of 5-532 equiv of HFP. The corresponding ratios for DE-2 (2) varied from 2/98 to 61/39 under the same set of conditions. When 1 or 2 was fused with a 20-fold excess of 3 at 140 degrees C in the absence of solvent HFP, almost exclusive trans addition (>95%) was observed for the both DEs. Through the use of varying amounts of HFP in the reaction mixture as described above, each of the eight possible phosphoramidite oligonucleotide building blocks (DE-1/DE-2, cis/trans, R/S) of the BcPh DE N(2)-dGuo adducts can be prepared in an efficient fashion. To rationalize the varying cis-to-trans ratio, we propose that the addition of 3 to 1 or 2 in the absence of solvent or in the presence of small amounts of HFP proceeds primarily via an S(N)2 mechanism to produce mainly trans-opened adducts. In contrast, increasing amounts of HFP promote increased participation of an S(N)1 mechanism involving a relatively stable carbocation with two possible conformations. One of these conformations reacts with 3 to give mostly trans adduct, while the other conformation reacts with 3 to give mostly cis adduct.

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