An Expeditious Synthesis of DPD and Boron Binding Studies

A practical synthesis has been developed for DPD (4,5-dihydroxypentane-2,3-dione), an unstable small molecule that is proposed to be the source of universal signaling agents for quorum sensing in bacteria. The synthesis allows preparation of isotopically labeled DPD and ent-DPD as well as detailed studies of spontaneous binding to borate to give the unusual borate complex 6, the signal for marine bacteria such as Vibrio harveyi.