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ACS Chem Biol. 2011 Nov 18;6(11):1175-81. doi: 10.1021/cb2002686. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Diazo reagents with small steric footprints for simultaneous arming/SAR studies of alcohol-containing natural products via O-H insertion.


Natural products are essential tools for basic cellular studies leading to the identification of medically relevant protein targets and the discovery of potential therapeutic leads. The development of methods that enable mild and selective derivatization of natural products continues to be of significant interest for mining their information-rich content. Herein, we describe novel diazo reagents for simultaneous arming and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of alcohol-containing natural products with a small steric footprint, namely, an α-trifluoroethyl (HTFB) substituted reagent. The Rh(II)-catalyzed O-H insertion reaction of several natural products, including the potent translation inhibitor lactimidomycin, was investigated, and useful reactivity and both chemo- and site (chemosite) selectivities were observed. Differential binding to the known protein targets of both FK506 and fumagillol was demonstrated, validating the advantage of the smaller steric footprint of α-trifluoroethyl derivatives. A p-azidophenyl diazo reagent is also described that will prove useful for photoaffinity labeling of low affinity small molecule protein receptors.

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