Single-electron transfer and hydrogen atom transfer pathways have been proposed to account for the cytochrome P450-catalyzed alpha-carbon oxidations of amines. With the aid of electrochemistry-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, the electrochemical potentials required for the one-electron oxidations of N-methyl- and selected N-cyclopropyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridinyl derivatives and the chemical fates of the resulting aminyl radical cations have been investigated. Comparison of the results of these studies with those observed in the corresponding enzyme catalyzed oxidations suggests that aminyl radical cations are not obligatory intermediates in the cytochrome P450-catalyzed alpha-carbon oxidations of this class of substrates.
Sphingosine kinase (SphK) has emerged as an attractive target for cancer therapeutics due to its role in cell survival. SphK phosphorylates sphingosine to form sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), which has been implicated in cancer growth and survival. SphK exists as two different isotypes, namely SphK1 and SphK2, which play different roles inside the cell. In this report, we describe SphK inhibitors based on the immunomodulatory drug, FTY720, which is phosphorylated by SphK2 to generate a S1P mimic. Structural modification of FTY720 provided a template for synthesizing new inhibitors. A diversity-oriented synthesis generated a library of SphK inhibitors with a novel scaffold and headgroup. We have discovered subtype selective inhibitors with Ki’s in the low micromolar range. This is the first report describing quaternary ammonium salts as SphK inhibitors.
Examination of the electrospray ionization product ion spectra of 1,2-dihydropyridinyl and 4-aryl-1,2-dihydropyridinyl derivatives bearing a 1-cyclopropyl or 1-trans-2-phenylcyclopropyl group has led to the characterization of unexpected fragment ions. For example, the base peak at m/z 156 present in the product ion spectrum of trans-1-(2-phenylcyclopropyl)-4-phenyl-1,2-dihydropyridine proved not to be the expected 4-phenylpyridinium species but rather the isomeric 3-phenyl-5-azoniafulvenyl species. The results of studies with a series of structural and isotopically labeled analogs require a novel fragmentation pathway to account for the formation of this and related fragment ions. One possible pathway is based on an initial 1,5-sigmatropic shift of a cyclopropylmethylene hydrogen atom that is accompanied by opening of the cyclopropyl ring. The resulting eniminium intermediates then fragment to yield the 5-azoniafulvenyl species.
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