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Concept: Functional group


Current lithium batteries operate on inorganic insertion compounds to power a diverse range of applications, but recently there is a surging demand to develop environmentally friendly green electrode materials. To develop sustainable and eco-friendly lithium ion batteries, we report reversible lithium ion storage properties of a naturally occurring and abundant organic compound purpurin, which is non-toxic and derived from the plant madder. The carbonyl/hydroxyl groups present in purpurin molecules act as redox centers and reacts electrochemically with Li-ions during the charge/discharge process. The mechanism of lithiation of purpurin is fully elucidated using NMR, UV and FTIR spectral studies. The formation of the most favored six membered binding core of lithium ion with carbonyl groups of purpurin and hydroxyl groups at C-1 and C-4 positions respectively facilitated lithiation process, whereas hydroxyl group at C-2 position remains unaltered.

Concepts: Functional group, Battery, Rechargeable battery, Carbohydrate, Lithium-ion battery, Lithium, Lithium battery, Lithium-ion polymer battery


We report on how to quantify the binding affinity between a nanoparticle and chemical functional group using various experimental methods such as cantilever assay, PeakForce quantitative nanomechanical property mapping, and lateral force microscopy. For the immobilization of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) onto a microscale silicon substrate, we have considered two different chemical functional molecules of amine and catecholamine (dopamine was used here). It is revealed that catecholamine-modified surface is more effective for the functionalization of AuNPs onto the surface, which is compared with the amine-modified surface from our various experiments. The dimensionless parameter (i.e., ratio of binding affinity) introduced in this work from such experiments is useful in quantitatively depicting such binding affinity, indicating that the binding affinity and stability between AuNPs and catecholamine is approximately 1.5 times stronger than that of amine. Our study sheds light on the experiment-based quantitative characterization of the binding affinity between nanomaterial and chemical groups, which will eventually provide an insight into how to effectively design the functional material using chemical groups.

Concepts: Amine, Nanoparticle, Functional group, Nanotechnology, Gold, Alkene, Amide, Imine


Lubeluzole, which acts on various targets in vitro, including voltage-gated sodium channels (NaChs), was initially proposed as neuroprotectant. Lubeluzole structure contains a benzothiazole moiety (R-like) related to riluzole and a phenoxy-propranol-amine moiety (A-core) recalling propranolol. Both riluzole and propranolol are efficient NaCh blockers. We studied in detail the effects of lubeluzole (racemic mixture and single isomers), aforementioned lubeluzole moieties, and riluzole on NaChs to increase our knowledge about drug-channel molecular interactions. Compounds were tested on hNav1.4 NaChs, and F1586C or Y1593C mutants functionally expressed in HEK293 cells, using patch-clamp. Lubeluzole blocked NaChs with a remarkable effectiveness. No stereoselectivity was found. Compared to mexiletine, dissociation constant for inactivated channels was ≈600 times lower (≈11 nM), conferring to lubeluzole a huge use-dependence of great therapeutic value. The F1586C mutation impaired use-dependent block only partially, suggesting that additional amino acids are critically involved in high-affinity binding. Lubeluzole moieties were modest NaCh blockers. Riluzole blocked NaChs efficiently but lacked use-dependence, similarly to R-like. F1586C fully abolished A-core use-dependence, suggesting that A-core binds to the local anesthetic receptor. Thus lubeluzole likely binds to the local anesthetic receptor through its phenoxy-propranol-amine moiety, with consequent use-dependent behavior. Nevertheless, compared to other known NaCh blockers, lubeluzole adds a third pharmacophoric point through its benzothiazole moiety, that greatly enhances high-affinity binding and use-dependent block. If sufficient isoform specificity can be attained, the huge use-dependent block may help in the development of new NaCh inhibitors to provide pharmacotherapy for membrane excitability disorders, such as myotonia, epilepsy, or chronic pain.

Concepts: Protein, Acid, Amine, Functional group, Ion channel, Local anesthetic, Racemic mixture, Adderall


Mefenamic acid, (MFA), a carboxylic acid-containing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is metabolized into the chemically-reactive, MFA-1-O-acyl-glucuronide (MFA-1-O-G), MFA-acyl-adenylate (MFA-AMP), and the MFA-S-acyl-CoA (MFA-CoA), all of which are electrophilic and capable of acylating nucleophilic sites on biomolecules. In this study, we investigate the non-enzymatic ability of each MFA acyl-linked metabolite to transacylate amino and thiol functional groups on the acceptor biomolecules glycine (Gly), taurine (Tau), glutathione (GSH), and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). In vitro incubations with each of the MFA acyl-linked metabolites (1 μM) in buffer under physiological conditions with Gly, Tau, GSH, or NAC (10 mM) revealed that MFA-CoA was 11.5- and 19.5-fold more reactive than MFA-AMP towards the acylation of cysteine-sulfhydryl groups of GSH and NAC, respectively. However, MFA-AMP was more reactive towards both Gly and Tau, 17.5-fold more reactive towards the N-acyl-amidation of taurine than its corresponding CoA thioester, while MFA-CoA displayed little reactivity towards glycine. Additionally, MFA-GSH was 5.6- and 108-fold more reactive towards NAC than MFA-CoA and MFA-AMP, respectively. In comparison to MFA-AMP and MFA-CoA, MFA-1-O-G was not significantly reactive towards all four bionucleophiles. MFA-AMP, MFA-CoA, MFA-1-O-G, MFA-GSH, and MFA-Tau were also detected in rat in vitro hepatocyte MFA (100 μM) incubations while MFA-Gly was not. These results demonstrate that MFA-AMP selectively reacts nonenzymatically with the amino functional groups of glycine and lysine, MFA-CoA selectively reacts nonenzymatically with the thiol functional groups of GSH and NAC, and MFA-GSH reacts nonenzymatically with the thiol functional group of GSH, all of which may potentially elicit an idiosyncratic toxicity in vivo.

Concepts: Amino acid, Amine, Functional group, Disulfide bond, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Carboxylic acid


Selective catalytic synthesis of Z-olefins has been challenging. Here we describe a method to produce 1,2-disubstituted olefins in high Z selectivity via reductive cross-coupling of alkyl halides with terminal arylalkynes . The method employs inexpensive and non-toxic catalyst (iron(II) bromide) and reductant (zinc). The substrate scope encompasses primary, secondary, and tertiary alkyl halides, and the reaction tolerates a large number of functional groups. The utility of the method is demonstrated in the synthesis of several pharmaceutically relevant molecules. Mechanistic study suggests that the reaction proceeds through an iron-catalyzed anti-selective carbozincation pathway.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Functional group, Alkene, Functional groups, Alkane, Hydrohalogenation


The odor of human breast milk after ingestion of raw garlic at food-relevant concentrations by breastfeeding mothers was investigated for the first time chemo-analytically using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry (GC-MS/O), as well as sensorially using a trained human sensory panel. Sensory evaluation revealed a clear garlic/cabbage-like odor that appeared in breast milk about 2.5 h after consumption of garlic. GC-MS/O analyses confirmed the occurrence of garlic-derived metabolites in breast milk, namely allyl methyl sulfide (AMS), allyl methyl sulfoxide (AMSO) and allyl methyl sulfone (AMSO₂). Of these, only AMS had a garlic-like odor whereas the other two metabolites were odorless. This demonstrates that the odor change in human milk is not related to a direct transfer of garlic odorants, as is currently believed, but rather derives from a single metabolite. The formation of these metabolites is not fully understood, but AMSO and AMSO₂ are most likely formed by the oxidation of AMS in the human body. The excretion rates of these metabolites into breast milk were strongly time-dependent with large inter-individual differences.

Concepts: Functional group, Milk, Lactation, Sulfur, Breast, Garlic, Breast milk, Dimethyl sulfoxide


Carbon-nitrogen (C-N) bond-forming reactions of amines with aryl halides to generate arylamines (anilines), mediated by a stoichiometric copper reagent at elevated temperature (>180°C), were first described by Ullmann in 1903. In the intervening century, this and related C-N bond-forming processes have emerged as powerful tools for organic synthesis. Here, we report that Ullmann C-N coupling can be photoinduced by using a stoichiometric or a catalytic amount of copper, which enables the reaction to proceed under unusually mild conditions (room temperature or even -40°C). An array of data are consistent with a single-electron transfer mechanism, representing the most substantial experimental support to date for the viability of this pathway for Ullmann C-N couplings.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Organic synthesis, Coupling, Functional group


Many macroecological patterns of biodiversity, including the relationship between latitude and species richness, are well-described. Data collected in a repeatable, standardized manner can advance the discipline beyond the description of patterns and be used to elucidate underlying mechanisms. Using standardized field methods and a hyper-diverse focal taxon, viz. Coleoptera, we aim to (1) describe large-scale latitudinal patterns of taxonomic diversity, functional diversity, and assemblage structure across northern Canada, and (2) determine which climatic, spatial, and habitat variables best explain these patterns. We collected terrestrial beetles at twelve locations in the three northernmost ecoclimatic zones in North America: north boreal, subarctic, and high arctic (51-81°N, 60-138°W). After identifying beetles and assigning them to a functional group, we assessed latitudinal trends for multiple diversity indices using linear regression and visualized spatial patterns of assemblage structure with multivariate ordinations. We used path analysis to test causal hypotheses for species and functional group richness, and we used a permutational approach to assess relationships between assemblage structure and 20 possible climatic and environmental mechanisms. More than 9,000 beetles were collected, representing 464 species and 18 functional groups. Species and functional diversity have significant negative relationships with latitude, which are likely explained by the mediating effects of temperature, precipitation, and plant height. Assemblages within the same ecoclimatic zone are similar, and there is a significant relationship between assemblage structure and latitude. Species and functional assemblage structure are significantly correlated with many of the same climatic factors, particularly temperature maxima and minima. At a large spatial extent, the diversity and assemblage structure of northern beetles show strong latitudinal gradients due to the mediating effects of climate, particularly temperature. Northern arthropod assemblages present significant opportunities for biodiversity research and conservation efforts, and their sensitivity to climate make them ideal targets for long-term terrestrial diversity monitoring.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Functional group, Earth, Climate, Beetle, North America, Maxima and minima


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


Molecular-scale control over the integration of disparate materials on graphene is a critical step in the development of graphene-based electronics and sensors. Here, we report that self-assembled monolayers of 10,12-pentacosadiynoic acid (PCDA) on epitaxial graphene can be used to template the reaction and directed growth of atomic layer deposited (ALD) oxide nanostructures with sub-10 nm lateral resolution. PCDA spontaneously assembles into well-ordered domains consisting of one-dimensional molecular chains that coat the entire graphene surface in a manner consistent with the symmetry of the underlying graphene lattice. Subsequently, zinc oxide and alumina ALD precursors are shown to preferentially react with the functional moieties of PCDA, resulting in templated oxide nanostructures. The retention of the original one-dimensional molecular ordering following ALD is dependent on the chemical reaction pathway and the stability of the monolayer, which can be enhanced via ultraviolet-induced molecular cross-linking.

Concepts: Oxygen, Chemical reaction, Functional group, Chemistry, Chemical substance, Order theory, Self-assembled monolayer, Template