Carboligation using the aldol reaction: A comparison of stereoselectivity and methods

  • Date:
  • Location: BMC C2:301, Husargatan 3, Uppsala
  • Doctoral student: Al-Smadi, Derar
  • About the dissertation
  • Organiser: Organisk kemi
  • Contact person: Al-Smadi, Derar
  • Disputation

The research summarized in this thesis focuses on synthesizing aldehyde and aldol compounds as substrates and products for the enzyme D-fructose-6-aldolase (FSA). Aldolases are important enzymes for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds in nature.

In biological systems, aldol reactions, both cleavage and formation play central roles in sugar metabolism. Aldolases exhibit high degrees of stereoselectivity and can steer the product configurations to a given enantiomeric and diastereomeric form. To become truly useful synthetic tools, the substrate scope of these enzymes needs to become broadened.

In the first project, phenylacetaldehyde derivatives were synthesized for the use as test substrates for E. coli FSA. Different methods were discussed to prepare phenylacetaldehyde derivatives, the addition of a one carbon unit to benzaldehyde derivatives using a homologation reaction was successful and was proven efficient and non-sensitive to the moisture. The analogues were prepared through two steps with 75-80 % yields for both meta- and para-substituted compounds.

The second project focuses on synthesizing aldol compound using FSA enzymes, both wild type and mutated variants selected from library screening, the assay has been successfully used to identify a hit with 10-fold improvement in an R134V/S166G variant. This enzyme produces one out of four possible stereoisomers.

The third project focuses on the synthesis of a range of aldol compounds using two different approaches reductive cross-coupling of aldehydes by SmI2 or by organocatalysts using cinchonine. Phenylacetaldehydes were reacted with hydroxy-, dihydroxyacetone and hydroxyacetophenone in presence of cinchonine, the reaction was successful with hydroxyacetophenone in moderate yields and 60-99 % de ratio. On the other hand, the aldehydes reacting with methyl- and phenylglyoxal in the presence of SmI2 resulted in moderate yields and without stereoselectivity.