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Synthesis of Novel Nucleic Acid Mimics via the Stereoselective Intermolecular Radical Coupling of 3‘-Iodo Nucleosides and Formaldoximes1

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.1996, 00:00 by Balkrishen Bhat, Eric E. Swayze, Patrick Wheeler, Stuart Dimock, Michel Perbost, Yogesh S. Sanghvi
A highly convergent free radical coupling of alkyl iodides and oximes, mediated by bis(trimethylstannyl) benzopinacolate (8), has been utilized to prepare a series of dimeric nucleosides as mimics of natural nucleic acids. The systematic optimization of the reaction conditions allowed for the single-step conversion of the appropriate iodides and oximes into the 2‘-deoxy dimers 9 in moderate to excellent yields. For example, the reaction of 3‘-deoxy-3‘-iodo-5‘-(triphenylmethyl)thymidine (6a) with 3‘-O-(tert-butyldiphenylsilyl)-5‘-O-(methyleneimino)thymidine (7a) in the presence of 8 in degassed benzene gave an 81% yield of 3‘-de(oxyphosphinico)-3‘-(methyleneimino)-5‘-O-(triphenylmethyl)thymidylyl-(3‘→5‘)-3‘-O-(tert-butyldiphenylsilyl)thymidine (9a). Similarly prepared were dimers containing both pyrimidine (thymine, 5-methylcytosine) and purine (adenine, guanine) bases. The reaction was highly stereoselective, giving only a single dimeric species having the ribo-configuration of the newly introduced C-3‘-branched methylene moiety. Also prepared were dimers 16, incorporating 2‘-O-methyl ribonucleosides in both halves of the dimer. This required the synthesis of 3‘-deoxy-3‘-iodo-2‘-O-methyl nucleosides 12 as well as 2‘-O-methyl-5‘-O-methyleneimino nucleosides 15. For example, 5‘-O-(tert-butyldiphenylsilyl)-3‘-deoxy-3‘-iodo-2‘-O-methyl-5-methyluridine (12e) was prepared in 80% yield by displacement of the corresponding triflate with Bu4NI. Also prepared were the suitably protected 3‘-deoxy-3‘-iodo adenosine and guanosine derivatives. Compounds 15 were prepared in high yield by a regioselective Mitsunobu reaction to give the corresponding 5‘-O-phthalimido nucleosides 13, which were subsequently converted to the requisite oximes 15. In the 2‘-O-methyl series, the pinacolate coupling reaction proceeded with efficiency equal to that observed for the 2‘-deoxy series 9, but with slightly less stereoselectivity, giving predominantly the C-3‘ribo products 16, contaminated with 5−25% of the epimeric material. Mixed base dimers containing both pyrimidine and purine bases at all possible positions, including purine−purine dimers were prepared. The hydroxylamine or methyleneimino (MI) backbone of several representative dimers so prepared was converted via methylation to give the corresponding methylenemethylimino (MMI)-linked compounds, which are novel phosphate surrogates for use in antisense oligonucleotides.