Saturday May 5th – Presentations

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Unusual Magnetic Behavior of σ-Dimerizing Organic Radicals

Alina Dragulescu-Andrasi, Hoa Phan, Xiang Li, Yan-Yan Hu, Eugene DePrince, Minyoung Jo, Michael Shatruk

Florida State University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

08:30 AM
Organic Chemistry

Many stable organic radicals are well-known to undergo Peierls dimerization in their π-π stacked solid-state structures. Recently, we demonstrated that certain π-radicals, which σ-dimerize upon cooling, can undergo light-induced splitting into the pair of π-radicals in the solid state. The photo-generated paramagnetic structure exhibits remarkable thermal stability, which allows one to interrogated its physical properties using conventional static methods, such as X-ray crystallography, UV-visible spectroscopy, or magnetometry. In this contribution, we report another unconventional phenomenon that leads to abrupt and hysteretic switching between paramagnetic π-radical and diamagnetic σ-dimer states. The switching effect is based on the transition between the plastic-crystal phase with dynamic rotational disorder and a normal crystalline phase in the dimerized form. A comprehensive investigation of this phenomenon with experimental and theoretical methods will be reported.

Ring Distortion of Complex Indole Alkaloids: Reengineering Biological Activity to Address New Disease Areas

Prof. Robert W. Huigens III

University of Florida

08:50 AM
Organic Chemistry

Various natural products, such as taxol, morphine and vancomycin, play a prominent role in medicine due to their ability to modulate biological targets critical to human disease. Current drug discovery efforts have shifted away from natural products and to the screening of large collections of compound libraries composed of structurally simple organic molecules. Despite their success against certain biological targets (e.g., kinases), these compound libraries have failed to produce viable leads in certain disease areas (e.g., antibiotics) which have been attributed to a lack of chemical diversity. Our lab aims to address deficiencies in chemical diversity through the development of a unified ring distortion approach targeting available, indole alkaloids as starting points for the rapid generation of an array of diverse complex scaffolds for biological screening in drug discovery. We recently reported a new tryptoline ring distortion approach from yohimbine, an indole alkaloid with a complex fused ring system.  In addition, we have utilized vinamine to produce novel complex small molecule scaffolds for drug discovery. Combined, our group has synthesized a library of >200 complex and diverse small molecules using short synthetic sequences and screening campaigns are underway. From these efforts, multiple hit compounds have been identified from various biological screens in diverse disease areas which will be presented during this talk.

A submonomer-based approach towards piperazic acid (Piz) natural products. The total synthesis of L-156,373

Yassin M. Elbatrawi, Chang Won Kang and J. R. Del Valle*

Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA

09:20 AM
Organic Chemistry

The piperazic acid (Piz) residue is found in a number of biologically active natural products and there exist numerous methods for its synthesis and incorporation into host peptides. Most approaches introduce pre-formed orthogonally protected Piz residues, synthesized in many steps, onto a growing peptide chain. L-156,373, a cyclic hexapeptide and oxytocin antagonist isolated from Streptomyces silvensis, features two consecutive enantiomeric forms of the Piz residue. Here, we present the first total synthesis of L-156,373 and its analogues via a sub-monomer-based electrophilic amination approach. Our strategy relies on a tandem SN2 cyclization to afford both Piz residues in one step and employs l- and d- glutamic acid residues as chiral synthons. This approach provides a means to introduce Piz and δ-oxo piperazic acid (oxoPiz) residues into host peptides using readily available amino acid building blocks.

Anti-infective and Neurodegenerative Drug Discovery – Something Old, Something New…

James W. Leahy

University of South Florida

10:15 AM
Organic Chemistry

Recent results from our efforts aimed at the discovery of anti-infective and neurodegenerative results will be discussed. Included in these will be both novel compounds and the discovery of a well-known agent that might be exploited for its activity in both areas.

Investigations in Organobarium Chemistry: Synthesis of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL): a Potential Target for Neuroprotective Therapy in Parkinson's Disease.

Ralph N. Salvatore*, Nicholas Schofield, Jacob R. Hobby, Josue F. Deslauriers, and Tori Scheffler

Southeastern University
Department of Natural Scienes
1000 Longfellow Blvd
Lakeland, FL 33801

10:45 AM
Organic Chemistry

3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde (DOPAL), an important biogenic aldehyde, serves as a critical endogenous toxin which triggers dopamine (DA) neuron loss in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Despite the immense biochemical significance of DOPAL, attempts to synthesize this compound in pure form have been met with grave difficulty. In fact, most methods lack detailed experimental procedures, full characterization, and suffer from extremely low product yield (~4%). Therefore, considerable effort to produce DOPAL in a higher yield would be clearly warranted. In an effort to mitigate these problems, we have directed our attention toward a more efficient synthesis of DOPAL using organobarium reagents. These novel reagents, standardized against various carbon-carbon bond forming reactions fundamental to organic synthesis, were then applied toward the total synthesis of DOPAL. These studies may provide important insight on future drug action to combat PD and, when the scope of this research is expanded, may aid in the treatment of other neurodegenerative disorders.

Sigma Receptor Ligands: From Discovery to Clinical Translation

Christopher R. McCurdy

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA 32610

11:05 AM
Organic Chemistry

Peripheral nerve injury, as a consequence of trauma, surgery, inflammation, or other causes, is a major medical problem.  This type of injury is often associated with chronic pain.  About 100 million people suffer from chronic pain in the United States alone.  Diagnosis and treatment are still considered as unmet medical needs.  Current clinical imaging methods used to evaluate chronic pain are centered on anatomic alterations, which do not necessarily reflect the origin of chronic pain.  A potential biomarker associated with nerve injury and neuroinflammation is the sigma-1 receptor (S1R).  In addition, S1Rs appear to play an active role in pain modulation, both peripherally and centrally.  We recently identified a highly selective S1R antagonist that was transformed into a PET probe candidate and demonstrated high specificity and selectivity for imaging S1Rs in mice, rats, and monkeys.  We have utilized this probe in a rat model of nerve injury via PET/MRI.  The results have helped promote the clinical use of the agent in identifying peripheral pain generators in patients suffering from neuropathic pain.  Furthermore, we have investigated the cold compound and similar derivatives as potential pharmacotherapies for neuropathic pain in mouse models of nerve injury.  These compounds have equipotent or superior analgesic efficacy to the clinically utilized gabapentin.  The compounds have also been examined for liabilities in locomotor, rotorod, conditioned place preference and in some cases, self-administration assays.  The results indicate the analgesic effects produced by S1Rs antagonists are not associated with these potential liabilities.  These results confirm the ability of S1Rs to serve as potential diagnostic and analgesic agents for neuropathic pain without CNS liabilities.

Funding provided by NIDA (DA023205), NIGMS (GM104932), US Department of Defense, the Center for Biomedical Imaging at Stanford University, and the State of Florida, Executive Office of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development.