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J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Jan 26;127(3):834-5.

Unique oxidation reaction of amides with pyridine-N-oxide catalyzed by ruthenium porphyrin: direct oxidative conversion of N-acyl-L-proline to N-acyl-L-glutamate.

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Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagoya City University, 3-1 Tanabe-dori, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, Japan.


Oxidations of alkanes, alkenes, and aromatic rings with pyridine N-oxides are efficiently catalyzed by ruthenium porphyrins under mild conditions. We show here that the oxidation of N-acyl cyclic amines with RuIVtetraarylporphyrin dichloride-2,6-substituted pyridine N-oxides directly gives N-acyl amino acids in modest to good yield via oxidative C-N bond cleavage. N-Acylpyrrolidines and N-acylpiperidines were converted to N-acyl-gamma-aminobutyric acids and N-acyl-delta-aminovaleric acids, respectively. This type of reaction is a novel one in which the C-N bond is cleaved selectively at the less substituted carbon. Notably, the proline residue in proline-containing peptides was selectively converted to glutamate. A large intramolecular kinetic isotope effect (kH/kD = 9.8) was observed in the oxidation of N-benzoyl[2,2,-d2]pyrrolidine, indicating that the reaction should involve an alpha-hydrogen atom abstraction process as the rate-determining step. N-Acylcarbaldehyde, the putative intermediate ring-opened form of alpha-hydroxylated N-acyl cyclic amine, was readily oxidized with the oxidizing system to afford the corresponding N-acylamino acid in good yield. Further, lactams (1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone and 1-methyl- 2-piperidone) were also oxidized to give the corresponding imides (1-methylsuccinimide and 1-methylpiperidine-2,6-dione).

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