The Journal of organic chemistry

Aromatic derivatives and tellurium analogues of cyclic seleninate esters and spirodioxyselenuranes that act as glutathione peroxidase mimetics.

PMID 16268595


[Reaction: see text]. Several novel organoselenium and tellurium compounds were prepared and evaluated as mimetics of the selenoenzyme glutathione peroxidase, which protects cells from oxidative stress by reducing harmful peroxides with the thiol glutathione. The compounds were tested for catalytic activity in a model system wherein tert-butyl hydroperoxide or hydrogen peroxide were reduced with benzyl thiol and the rate of the reaction was measured by monitoring the formation of dibenzyl disulfide. Thus, aromatic derivatives 19, 22, 24, and 25 proved to be inferior catalysts compared to the parent cyclic seleninate ester 14 and spirodioxyselenurane 16. In the case of 19 and 22, this was the result of their rapid conversion to the relatively inert selenenyl sulfides 31 and 32, respectively. In general, hydrogen peroxide was reduced faster than tert-butyl hydroperoxide in the presence of the selenium-based catalysts. The cyclic tellurinate ester 27 and spirodioxytellurane 29 proved to be superior catalysts to their selenium analogues 14 and 16, respectively, resulting in the fastest reaction rates by far of all of the compounds we have investigated to date. Oxidation of 29 with hydrogen peroxide produced the unusual and unexpected peroxide 33, in which two hypervalent octahedral tellurium moieties are joined by ether and peroxide bridges. The structure of 33 was confirmed by X-ray crystallography. Although 33 displayed strong catalytic activity when tested independently in the model system, its relatively slow formation from the oxidation of 29 rules out its intermediacy in the catalytic cycle of 29.