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Organic & biomolecular chemistry

peri-Dimethylamino substituent effects on proton transfer at carbon in α-naphthylacetate esters: a model for mandelate racemase.


PMID 22108698

Abstract

The rate constants for exchange of hydrogen for deuterium at the α-CH(2) positions of 8-(N,N-dimethylaminonaphthalen-1-yl)acetic acid tert-butyl ester 1 and naphthalen-1-ylacetic acid tert-butyl ester 2 have been determined in potassium deuteroxide solutions in 1 : 1 D(2)O : CD(3)CN, in order to quantify the effect of the neighbouring peri-dimethylamino substituent on α-deprotonation. Intramolecular general base catalysis by the (weakly basic) neighbouring group was not detected. Second-order rate constants, k(DO), for the deuterium exchange reactions of esters 1 and 2 have been determined as 1.35 × 10(-4) M(-1) s(-1) and 3.95 × 10(-3) M(-1) s(-1), respectively. The unexpected 29-fold decrease in the k(DO) value upon the introduction of a peri-dimethylamino group is attributed to an unfavourable steric and/or electronic substituent effect on intermolecular deprotonation by deuteroxide ion. From the experimental k(DO) values, carbon acid pK(a) values of 26.8 and 23.1 have been calculated for esters 1 and 2.

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