Scientific article
Open access

Enolate Stabilization by Anion-π Interactions: Deuterium Exchange in Malonate Dilactones on π-Acidic Surfaces

Published inChemistry, vol. 22, no. 8, p. 2648-2657
Publication date2016

Of central importance in chemistry and biology, enolate chemistry is an attractive topic to elaborate on possible contributions of anion–π interactions to catalysis. To demonstrate the existence of such contributions, experimental evidence for the stabilization of not only anions but also anionic intermediates and transition states on π-acidic aromatic surfaces is decisive. To tackle this challenge for enolate chemistry with maximal precision and minimal uncertainty, malonate dilactones are covalently positioned on the π-acidic surface of naphthalenediimides (NDIs). Their presence is directly visible in the upfield shifts of the α-protons in the 1H NMR spectra. The reactivity of these protons on π-acidic surfaces is measured by hydrogen–deuterium (H–D) exchange for 11 different examples, excluding controls. The velocity of H–D exchange increases with π acidity (NDI core substituents: SO2R>SOR>H>OR>OR/NR2>SR>NR2). The H–D exchange kinetics vary with the structure of the enolate (malonates>methylmalonates, dilactones>dithiolactones). Moreover, they depend on the distance to the π surface (bridge length: 11–13 atoms). Most importantly, H–D exchange depends strongly on the chirality of the π surface (chiral sulfoxides as core substituents; the crystal structure of the enantiopure (R,R,P)-macrocycle is reported). For maximal π acidity, transition-state stabilizations up to −18.8 kJ mol−1 are obtained for H–D exchange. The Brønsted acidity of the enols increases strongly with π acidity of the aromatic surface, the lowest measured pKa=10.9 calculates to a ΔpKa=−5.5. Corresponding to the deprotonation of arginine residues in neutral water, considered as “impossible” in biology, the found enolate–π interactions are very important. The strong dependence of enolate stabilization on the unprecedented seven-component π-acidity gradient over almost 1 eV demonstrates quantitatively that such important anion–π activities can be expected only from strong enough π acids.

  • Acidity
  • Anion–π interactions
  • Deuterium exchange
  • Enolates
  • Macrocycles
  • Stereoselectivity
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
MIROS, François et al. Enolate Stabilization by Anion-π Interactions: Deuterium Exchange in Malonate Dilactones on π-Acidic Surfaces. In: Chemistry, 2016, vol. 22, n° 8, p. 2648–2657. doi: 10.1002/chem.201504008
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Article (Published version)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0947-6539

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