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Chirality. 2006 Sep;18(9):762-71.

Non-racemic atropisomeric (thio)ureas as neutral enantioselective anion receptors for amino-acid derivatives: origin of smaller Kass with thiourea than urea derivatives.

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Laboratoire Stéréochimie dynamique et Chiralité, UMR 6180, Chirotechnologies, catalyse et biocatalyse, CNRS-Université Paul Cézanne-Aix-Marseille III, Marseille, France.


The synthesis of a limited series of non-racemic atropisomeric 1-(2-(4-methyl-2-thioxothiazol-3(2H)-yl)phenyl)-3-(hetero)aryl-(thio)ureas is described. Using NMR titration experiments monitoring the shift of the two NH of the (thio)urea and the C-5 hydrogen of the heterocycle, the binding constants for some optically pure (thio)-ureas with the enantiomers of N-protected amino acid tetrabutylammonium salts were determined in CD3CN. The obtained enantioselectivities were modest. Contrary to what was expected on the basis of the NH acidity in thiourea versus urea group, the association constants were smaller with the thiourea than with the corresponding urea. X-ray data, DFT calculations, and NMR provided the explanation of that unexpected behavior: the urea presents a pre-organized (Z,Z) conformation suitable for a double hydrogen bond with the carboxylate anion, the thiourea presents a (Z,E) conformation, which must be reorganized in a constrained (Z,Z) conformation in the complex. An intramolecular hydrogen bond between one NH and the thiocarbonyl group of the heterocycle, which is present in the thiourea and absent in the urea, might also contribute to the smaller K(ass) for the thiourea. The possible implication of these observations in the field of bifunctional organocatalysis is briefly discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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