Researchers diversify drug development options with new metal catalyst

phys.org | 1/9/2019 | Staff
joyy (Posted by) Level 3
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A University of Illinois team of researchers led by chemistry professor M. Christina White has developed a new manganese-based catalyst that can change the structure of druglike molecules to make new drugs, advancing the pace and efficiency of drug development.

Their findings appear in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Pharmaceuticals - Carbon-hydrogen - Scaffolds - Oxygen - Atoms

Many pharmaceuticals contain aliphatic and aromatic carbon-hydrogen scaffolds to which chemists introduce oxygen atoms in precise locations to dictate the behavior of the drug. Aliphatic molecules have carbon-hydrogen bonds that are strong, ubiquitous and difficult to manipulate without affecting other, more reactive parts of the molecule. For example, aromatics have a type of bond that is often more reactive than aliphatic carbon-hydrogen bonds.

"Nature tells us in examples of drugs such as erythromycin and Taxol that by swapping out specific hydrogen atoms with oxygen atoms at strategic locations, chemists can control the function of a drug," White said. "However, carbon-hydrogen bonds in aliphatic structures are some of the strongest in nature, and our previously developed methods to convert them to carbon-oxygen bonds—a process called oxidation—tend not to tolerate aromatics, which also are very prevalent in drugs."

Catalyst - Scaffolds - Presence - Aromatics

"We have developed a synthetic manganese catalyst that can oxidize aliphatic scaffolds in the presence of aromatics...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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