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Concept: Chemical synthesis


The enantioselective allylation of ketones is a problem of fundamental importance in asymmetric reaction design, especially given that only a very small number of methods can generate tertiary carbinols. Despite the vast amount of attention that synthetic chemists have given to this problem, success has generally been limited to just a few simple ketone types. A method for the selective allylation of functionally complex ketones would greatly increase the utility of ketone allylation methods in the chemical synthesis of important targets. Here we describe the operationally simple, direct, regioselective and enantioselective allylation of β-diketones. The strong tendency of β-diketones to act as nucleophilic species was overcome by using their enol form to provide the necessary Brønsted-acid activation. This reaction significantly expands the pool of enantiomerically enriched and functionally complex tertiary carbinols that may be easily accessed. It also overturns more than a century of received wisdom regarding the reactivity of β-diketones.

Concepts: Amino acid, Chemical reaction, Chemical synthesis, Carbonyl, Asymmetric induction, Asymmetric synthesis, Enantiomeric excess, Keto-enol tautomerism


Two syntheses of natural viridic acid, an unusual triply N-methylated peptide with two anthranilate units, are presented. The first one is based on peptide-coupling strategies and affords the optically active natural product in 20% overall yield over six steps. A more economical approach with only four steps leads to the similarly active racemate by utilizing a Ugi four-component reaction (Ugi-4CR) as the key transformation. A small library of viridic acid analogues is readily available to provide first SAR insight. The biological activities of the natural product and its derivatives against the Gram-negative bacterium Aliivibrio fischeri were evaluated.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Molecular biology, Microbiology, Escherichia coli, Total synthesis, Chemical synthesis, Ugi reaction


Flower-like AgCl microstructures with enhanced visible light-driven photocatalysis are synthesized by a facile one-pot hydrothermal process for the first time. The evolution process of AgCl from dendritic structures to flower-like octagonal microstructures is investigated quantitatively. Furthermore, the flower-like AgCl microstructures exhibit enhanced ability of visible light-assisted photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange. The enhanced photocatalytic activity of the flower-like AgCl microstructure is attributed to its three-dimensional hierarchical structure exposing with [100] facets. This work provides a fresh view into the insight of electrochemical process and the application area of visible light photocatalysts.

Concepts: Light, Structure, Hierarchy, Chemical synthesis, Photocatalysis, Photocatalytic water splitting, Visible spectrum, Microstructure


A series of Fe(3+)-bearing Li7La3Zr2O12 (LLZO) garnets was synthesized using solid-state synthesis methods. The synthetic products were characterized compositionally using electron microprobe analysis and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and structurally using X-ray powder diffraction and (57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy. A maximum of about 0.25 Fe(3+) pfu could be incorporated in Li7-3x Fe x La3Zr2O12 garnet solid solutions. At Fe(3+) concentrations lower than about 0.16 pfu, both tetragonal and cubic garnets were obtained in the synthesis experiments. X-ray powder diffraction analysis showed only a garnet phase for syntheses with starting materials having intended Fe(3+) contents lower than 0.52 Fe(3+) pfu. Back-scattered electron images made with an electron microprobe also showed no phase other than garnet for these compositions. The lattice parameter, a 0, for all solid-solution garnets is similar with a value of a 0≈12.98 Å regardless of the amount of Fe(3+). (57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopic measurements indicate the presence of poorly- or nano-crystalline FeLaO3 in syntheses with Fe(3+) contents greater than 0.16 Fe(3+) pfu. The composition of different phase pure Li7-3x Fe x La3Zr2O12 garnets, as determined by electron microprobe (Fe, La, Zr) and ICP-OES (Li) measurements, give Li6.89Fe0.03La3.05Zr2.01O12, Li6.66Fe0.06La3.06Zr2.01O12, Li6.54Fe0.12La3.01Zr1.98O12, and Li6.19Fe0.19La3.02Zr2.04O12. The (57)Fe Mössbauer spectrum of cubic Li6.54Fe0.12La3.01Zr1.98O12 garnet indicates that most Fe(3+) occurs at the special crystallographic 24d position, which is the standard tetrahedrally coordinated site in garnet. Fe(3+) in smaller amounts occurs at a general 96h site, which is only present for certain Li-oxide garnets, and in Li6.54Fe0.12La3.01Zr1.98O12 this Fe(3+) has a distorted 4-fold coordination.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Diffraction, Crystallography, Chemical synthesis, X-ray crystallography, Powder diffraction, Neutron diffraction, Electron microprobe


Astaxanthin, a xanthophyll carotenoid, is a secondary metabolite naturally synthesized by a number of bacteria, microalgae, and yeasts. The commercial production of this pigment has traditionally been performed by chemical synthesis, but the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis appears to be the most promising source for its industrial biological production. Due to its collective diverse functions in skin biology, there is mounting evidence that astaxanthin possesses various health benefits and important nutraceutical applications in the field of dermatology. Although still debated, a range of potential mechanisms through which astaxanthin might exert its benefits on skin homeostasis have been proposed, including photoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. This review summarizes the available data on the functional role of astaxanthin in skin physiology, outlines potential mechanisms involved in the response to astaxanthin, and highlights the potential clinical implications associated with its consumption.

Concepts: Medicine, Bacteria, Metabolism, Biology, Organism, Physiology, Chemical synthesis, Haematococcus pluvialis


The study objective was to investigate and synthesize available evidence relating to the psychological health of Emergency Dispatch Centre (EDC) operatives, and to identify key stressors experienced by EDC operatives.

Concepts: Psychology, Chemical synthesis, Synthesis


A synthesis fit for a king: The total synthesis of (±)-kingianins A, D, and F has been achieved in ten steps. Key features include the gram-scale synthesis and partial reduction of a conjugated tetrayne to a (Z,Z,Z,Z)-tetraene, the domino 8π-6π electrocyclic ring closure of a (Z,Z,Z,Z)-tetraene, and the radical-cation-catalyzed formal Diels-Alder dimerization of functionalized bicyclo[4.2.0]octadiene precursors.

Concepts: Total synthesis, Paclitaxel total synthesis, Chemical synthesis, Vector space, Formal language


The total synthesis of the Lycopodium alkaloid lyconadin A was accomplished and it was applied to the total syntheses of the related congeners, lyconadins B, and C. Lyconadin A has attracted attention as a challenging target for total synthesis due to the unprecedented pentacyclic skeleton. Our synthesis of lyconadin A features a facile construction of the highly fused tetracyclic skeleton through a combination of an aza-Prins reaction and an electrocyclic ring opening followed by a formation of a C-N bond. Transformation of the bromoalkene moiety of the tetracycle to a key enone intermediate was extensively investigated, and three methods via sulfide, oxime, or azide intermediates were established. A pyridone ring was constructed from the key enone interme-diate to complete the synthesis of lyconadin A. A dihydropyridone ring could also be formed from the same enone intermediate, leading to a synthesis of lyconadin B. Establishment of the conditions for an electrocyclic ring opening without formation of the C-N bond resulted in completion of the total synthesis of lyconadin C.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Functional group, Total synthesis, Paclitaxel total synthesis, Chemical synthesis, Rational number, Functional groups, Reserpine


Despite the continuing interest in the applications of functionalized nanomaterials, the controlled and reproducible synthesis of many important functionalized nanoparticles (NPs) above the milligram scale continues to be a significant challenge. The synthesis of functionalized NPs in automated reactors provides a viable approach to circumvent some of the shortcomings of traditional nanomaterial batch syntheses, providing superior control over reagent addition, improved reproducibility, the opportunity to interface real-time product monitoring, and viable high-throughput synthetic approach. Here, we demonstrate the construction and operation of a simple millifluidic reactor assembled entirely from commercially available components found in almost any chemical laboratory. This reactor facilitates the aqueous gram-scale synthesis of a variety of functionalized gold nanoparticles, including the synthesis of gold nanospheres with tightly controlled core diameters and gold nanorods with controlled aspect ratios between 1.5 and 4.0. The absolute dimensions (i.e. the transverse diameter) of gold nanorods synthesized within the reactor) can also be tailored to produce different gold nanorod shapes, including “small” gold nanorods and gold nanocubes. In addition, the high-throughput synthesis approach facilitated by the flow reactor easily extends the synthesis of monodisperse functionalized gold nanoparticles to the gram scale. Lastly, we show that the reactor can interface with existing purification and monitoring techniques in order to enable the high-throughput functionalization/purification of gold nanorods and real-time monitoring of gold nanoparticle products for quality control. We anticipate that this millifluidic reactor will provide the blueprint for a versatile and portable approach to the gram-scale synthesis of monodisperse, hydrophilically functionalized metal NPs that can be realized in almost any chemistry research laboratory.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Chemical synthesis, Gold, Colloidal gold, Ceramic engineering


Native chemical ligation is widely used for the convergent synthesis of proteins. The peptide thioesters required for this process can be challenging to produce, particularly when using Fmoc-based solid-phase peptide synthesis. We have previously reported a route to peptide thioesters, following Fmoc solid-phase peptide synthesis, via an N→S acyl shift that is initiated by the presence of a C-terminal cysteine residue, under mildly acidic conditions. Under typical reaction conditions, we occasionally observed significant thioester hydrolysis as a consequence of long reaction times (~48 h) and sought to accelerate the reaction. Here, we present a faster route to peptide thioesters, by replacing the C-terminal cysteine residue with selenocysteine and initiating thioester formation via an N→Se acyl shift. This modification allows thioester formation to take place at lower temperatures and on shorter time scales. We also demonstrate how application of this strategy also accelerates peptide cyclization, when a linear precursor is furnished with an N-terminal cysteine and C-terminal selenocysteine. Copyright © 2013 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Protein, Protein structure, Amino acid, Chemical reaction, Chemical synthesis, Peptide synthesis, Chemical ligation, Native chemical ligation