Divergent Synthesis of Monosubstituted and Unsymmetrical 3,6- Disubstituted Tetrazines from Carboxylic Ester Precursors

29 April 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


As tetrazines are important tools to the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, there is a need for new approaches to synthesize unsymmetrical and 3-monosubstituted tetrazines. Described here is a general, one-pot method for converting (3methyloxetan-3-yl)methyl carboxylic esters into 3thiomethyltetrazines. These versatile intermediates were applied as a platform for the synthesis of unsymmetrical tetrazines via Pdcatalyzed cross-coupling and in the first example of catalytic thioether reduction to access monosubstituted tetrazines. The method enables the development of new tetrazines possessing a favorable combination of kinetics, small size and hydrophilicity. The chemistry was applied to a broad range of aliphatic and aromatic ester precursors and to the synthesis of heterocycles including BODIPY fluorophores and biotin. In addition, a series of tetrazine probes for monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) were synthesized and the most reactive one was applied in labeling of endogenous MAGL in live cells


bioorthogonal chemistry

Supplementary materials

Ester to Tz SI Angew ChemRxiv


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