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J Org Chem. 2014 Mar 7;79(5):1913-9. doi: 10.1021/jo402080d. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Supramolecular assistance for the selective monofunctionalization of a calix[6]arene tris-carboxylic acid-based receptor.

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Laboratoire de Chimie Organique, Université Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.) , Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, CP160/06, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.


The selective functionalization of macrocyclic receptors remains extremely challenging because it generally requires the transformation of one and only one functional group among several identical groups. Recently, some of us described that the host-guest properties of a calix[6]arene-based Zn complex could be exploited for its selective monofunctionalization. Herein, we report on the extension of this synthetic strategy to a calix[6]arene-based receptor displaying a different recognition pattern with its guest. More precisely, a calix[6]arene tris-carboxylic acid-based receptor bearing three azido groups at the large rim was selectively monofunctionalized through an intramolecular thermal Huisgen reaction with a hexynNH3(+) ion accommodated into the cavity. This work shows that the monofunctionalization methodology can also be performed efficiently with host-guest systems involving ionic/H-bonding interactions, and it is thus not limited only to the use of metal-ligand interactions. In other words, this supramolecular methodology can be used as a general tool for the selective functionalization of molecular receptors.


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