Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Racemic mixture


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


A new antibacterial chlorinated benzophenone derivative, (±)-pestalachloride D (1), along with a related analog, (±)-pestalachloride C (2), was recently isolated from the marine-derived fungus Pestalotiopsis sp. isolated from a soft coral Sarcophyton sp. collected from Yongxing Island in the South China Sea. Both chiral HPLC analysis and single-crystal X-ray data indicated that 1 is a racemic mixture. Interestingly, 1 did not exhibit any effect in the zebrafish embryo teratogenicity assay, while 2 led to abnormal growth. The potential impact on zebrafish embryo growth is discussed based on their crystal structures. The main difference of crystal structures between 1 and 2 is that the six-member non-aromatic ring (O4, C10, C9, C8, C2', and C3') in 1 exhibits a distorted chair conformation, while 2 shows a distorted boat conformation. Moreover, compounds 1 and 2 both exhibited moderate antibacterial activity.

Concepts: Stereochemistry, Enantiomer, Solid, South China Sea, Racemic mixture, Cyclohexane conformation, East China Sea, Adderall


A convenient synthesis of natural and synthetic pterocarpans was achieved in three steps. Optical resolution of the respective enantiomers was accomplished by analytical and semi-preparative HPLC on a chiral stationary phase. For medicarpin and its synthetic derivative 9-demethoxymedicarpin, the absolute configuration was confirmed by a combination of experimental LC-ECD coupling and quantum-chemical ECD calculations. (-)-Medicarpin and (-)-9-demethoxymedicarpin are both 6aR,11aR-configured, and consequently the corresponding enantiomers, (+)-medicarpin and (+)-9-demethoxymedicarpin, possess the 6aS,11aS-configuration. A comparative mechanism study for osteogenic (bone forming) activity of medicarpin (racemic versus enantiomerically pure material) revealed that (+)-(6aS,11aS)-medicarpin (6a) significantly increased the bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) expression and the level of the bone-specific transcription factor Runx-2 mRNA, while the effect was opposite for the other enantiomer, (-)-(6aR,11aR)-medicarpin (6a), and for the racemate, (±)-medicarpin, the combined effect of both the enantiomers on transcription levels was observed.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Gene expression, Transcription, Stereochemistry, RNA polymerase, Enantiomer, Racemic mixture


Original mixed selectors were synthesized by coupling a single l-valine diamide moiety on permethylated β-cyclodextrin. The structures of the new selectors were designed to limit the interactions between the l-valine derivative and cyclodextrin by removing the amino acid moiety from the cyclodextrin cavity by means of an amide linkage on mono-6-amino permethylated β-CD or the insertion of a carboxymethyl group. The accessibility of the amino acid group moiety was thus facilitated. The new mixed selectors exhibited better enantioselectivity than Chirasil-l-Val for half (selector based on mono-6-amino permethylated β-CD) or more (selector with the carboxymethyl group) of the 41 amino acid derivatives. Molecular modeling confirmed that these results could be attributed to an increase in the distance between the chiral center of the amino acid and the cyclodextrin cavity allowing better access of the amino acid moiety. These new mixed chiral selectors demonstrated a novel enantioselective capability with the successful separation of more than 90 racemic mixtures among the 105 chiral compounds tested. These mixed selectors exhibited enhanced enantioselectivity in comparison to binary selectors previously described with respect to both enantiomer resolution and the number of separated chiral compounds. Moreover, an improvement of the enantioseparation factors compared to the corresponding ‘parent phases’ for the amino acid derivatives was observed in many cases. These mixed selectors should therefore be considered some of the most versatile selectors for chiral gas chromatography.

Concepts: Amino acid, Amine, Ammonia, Stereochemistry, Enantiomer, Chirality, Carboxylic acid, Racemic mixture


The first example of Ir-catalyzed asymmetric substitution reaction with vinyl trifluoroborates is described. The direct reaction between branched, racemic allylic alcohols and potassium alkenyltrifluoroborates proceeded with high site selectivity and excellent enantioselectivity (up to 99%) mediated by an Ir-(P,olefin) complex. This method allows rapid access to various 1,4-dienes or trienes including the biologically active natural products (-)-nyasol and (-)-hinokiresinol.

Concepts: Nucleophilic substitution, Stereochemistry, Enantiomer, Allyl alcohol, Organic chemistry, Asymmetric induction, Enantiomeric excess, Racemic mixture


Efforts to substitute the cyclopropane ring in a series of aryl cyclopropylnitriles led to the discovery of an operationally simple one-pot method for Knoevenagel condensation and subsequent Corey-Chaykovsky cyclopropanation giving diastereomerically pure products as a racemic mixture of enantiomers. Method development and results for variably substituted aryl acetonitriles and aldehydes in the reaction are reported. A concise synthesis of (+/-)-bicifadine in two steps is provided to demonstrate the utility of the method.

Concepts: Stereochemistry, Enantiomer, Functional groups, Aldol condensation, Racemic mixture


Effusin A (1), a spirobicyclic N,O-acetal derivative with an unprecedented 3',3a',5',6'-tetrahydrospiro[piperazine-2,2'-pyrano[2,3,4-de]chromene] ring system, and a spiro-polyketide-diketopiperazine hybrid dihydrocryptoechinulin D (2) were isolated from a mangrove rhizosphere soil derived fungus, Aspergillus effuses H1-1. Their structures were determined by detailed spectroscopic analysis. Effusin A (1) and dihydrocryptoechinulin D (2) occurred as racemates, the enantiomers of which were separated and characterized by online HPLC-ECD analysis and their absolute configurations were determined by the solution TDDFT ECD calculation approach. The cytotoxic effects of 1 and 2 were preliminarily evaluated and 2 showed potent activity on P388 cells with an IC(50) value of 1.83 μM. The target of racemic 2 was also investigated and the (12R,28S,31S)-2 enantiomer showed selectivity against topoisomerase I.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Function, Stereochemistry, Enantiomer, Physical chemistry, The Target, Aspergillus fumigatus, Racemic mixture


A highly diastereoselective (d.r. >99:1) and enantioselective (ee value up to 96 %) synthesis of trisubstituted cyclohexanols was achieved by using a one-pot sequential organocatalysis that involved a quinidine thiourea-catalyzed tandem Henry-Michael reaction between nitromethane and 7-oxo-hept-5-en-1-als followed by a tetramethyl guanidine (TMG)-catalyzed tandem retro-Henry-Henry reaction on the reaction products of the tandem Henry-Michael reaction. Through a mechanistic study, it has also been demonstrated that similar results may also be achieved with this one-pot sequential organocatalysis by using the racemic Henry product as the substrate.

Concepts: Product, Chemical reaction, Stereochemistry, Chemical synthesis, Enantiomer, Aldol reaction, Racemic mixture, Chiral resolution


The ligand exchange reaction between racemic Au38(2-PET)24 (2-PET: 2-phenylethylthiolate) clusters and enantiopure 1,1'-binapththyl-2,2'-dithiol (BINAS) was monitored in situ using a chiral HPLC approach. In the first exchange step, a clear preference of R-BINAS towards the left-handed enantiomer of Au38(2-PET)24 is observed (about four times faster than reaction with the right-handed enantiomer). The second exchange step is drastically slowed compared to the first step. BINAS substitution deactivates the cluster for further exchange, which is attributed to (stereo)electronic effects. The results constitute the first example of a ligand exchange reaction in a thiolate-protected gold cluster with directed enrichment of a defined species in the product mixture. This may open new possibilities for the design of nanomaterials with tailored properties.

Concepts: Stereochemistry, Enantiomer, Chirality, In situ, Tartaric acid, Racemic mixture


Racemates of the diphenolic metabolites (±)-tylopilusin A (1) and (±)-tylopilusin B (2) were isolated from the fruiting bodies of Tylopilus eximius. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic analyses (1D and 2D NMR data and ROESY correlations) and X-ray crystallography. Each racemate was separated into its individual enantiomers, and electronic circular dichroism calculations were used to assign the absolute configuration of (+)- and (-)-tylopilusin A (1) and (+)- and (-)-tylopilusin B (2).

Concepts: DNA, X-ray, Crystallography, Absolute, Stereochemistry, Enantiomer, X-ray crystallography, Racemic mixture