Improved alkylation and product stability in phosphotriester formation through quinone methide reactions with dialkyl phosphates

by Bakke, Brian A.; McIntosh, Matt C.; Turnbull, Kenneth D.

Investigating reactions of functionalized p-quinone methides continues to advance our design of a reagent being developed for controlled, in situ modification of DNA via phosphodiester alkylation. Previously reported investigations of p-quinone methides derived from catechols allowed for trapping of isolable trialkyl phosphates for characterization and mechanistic information. However, lactone formation with these derivatives required long reaction times, resulting in an unfavorable mixture of trialkyl phosphate and hydrolysis products. To enhance the rate and efficacy of trialkyl phosphate formation and trapping, a phenol derived p-quinone methide has been designed to enforce a conformation favoring lactonization of the dialkyl phosphate alkylated intermediate. The relative rates of phosphodiester alkylation and subsequent trapping of the phosphotriester adduct have been examined by UV and H-1 NMR analysis for p-quinone methide precursor 1 and the corresponding control, 1'. The incorporation of a methyl group at the meta-position of 1 (relative to 1') significantly improves the rate of lactionization to provide a much higher yield of the desired product, lactonized phosphotriester 5. The control reaction with V afforded only a minor amount of the corresponding lactonized trialkyl phosphate 5'.

Journal of Organic Chemistry
Start Page
0022-3263; 1520-6904