The ortho backbone amide linker (o-BAL) is an easily prepared and highly acid-labile handle for solid-phase synthesis

Ulrik Boas, Jesper Brask, J.B. Christensen, Knud Jørgen Jensen

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The tris(alkoxy)benzyl backbone amide linker (BAL) has found widespread application in solid-phase synthesis. The key intermediate for preparation of para BAL (p-BAL) is 2,6-dimethoxy-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde; several reports on its synthesis have appeared. However, the ortho analogue of the handle (o-BAL) has successfully been used by us for the synthesis of C-terminal-modified peptides, oligosaccharides, and substituted anilines. Here, we present a new and convenient synthesis of the key intermediate for o-BAL, 4,6-dimethoxy-2-hydroxybenzaldehyde, by a highly regioselective demethylation with BBr3, followed by purification through steam distillation, Cleavage studies of Leu-enkephalin anchored to either o-BAL or p-BAL handles revealed that both handles were surprisingly acid-labile and released the peptide with dilute TFA (5% and even 1% TFA in CH2Cl2). This useful property allowed the synthesis of fully protected Leu-enkephalin. The very convenient synthesis of 4,6-dimethoxy-2-hydroxybenzaldehyde combined with the benign properties of the o-BAL handle may make it the preferred regioisomer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of combinatorial chemistry
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)223-228
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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