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Carbohydr Res. 2002 Feb 18;337(4):353-67.

Quantum mechanical and NMR spectroscopy studies on the conformations of the hydroxymethyl and methoxymethyl groups in aldohexosides.

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GlycoDesign Inc., 480 University Avenue, Suite 400, Ont., M5G 1V2, Toronto, Canada.


The potential energy surfaces of the hydroxymethyl and methoxymethyl groups in methyl hexopyranosides have been extensively studied, employing quantum mechanical calculations and high resolution NMR data. The structure and energy of the C-5-C-6 rotamers were calculated at the B3LYP level of the density functional theory (DFT). For all, geometry optimizations were carried out for 264 conformers of 16 methyl D-gluco- and methyl D-galactopyranoside derivatives 1-16 at the B3LYP/6-31G** level. For all calculated minima, single-point calculations were performed at the B3LYP/6-311++G** level. Solvent effects were considered using a self-consistent reaction field method. Values of the vicinal coupling constants 3J(H-5-H-6R), 3J(H-5-H-6S), 3J(C-4-H-6R), and 3J(C-4-H-6S) for methyl D-glucopyranosides, methyl D-galactopyranosides and their 6-O-methyl derivatives 9-16 were measured in two solvents, methanol and water. The calculated gg, gt, and tg rotamer populations of the hydroxymethyl and methoxymethyl groups in 9-16 agreed well with experimental data. The results clearly showed that the population of gg, gt, and tg rotamers is sensitive to solvent effects. It was concluded that the preference of rotamers in 1-16 is due to the hydrogen bonding and solvent effects.

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