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Title: The synthesis of azetidine and piperidine iminosugars from monosaccharides
Author: Lenagh-Snow, Gabriel Matthew Jack
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 2968
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Iminosugars are polyhydroxylated alkaloids, and can be generally defined as sugar mimetics in which the endocyclic oxygen atom has been replaced with a basic nitrogen. A common affect of this atomic substitution is to bestow these compounds with the ability to inhibit various sugarprocessing enzymes; most significantly the glycosidases (glycoside hydrolases) which areintimately involved in a huge array of biological functions. Compounds which inhibit these enzymes concordantly possess much potential as medicinal agents for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Several iminosugars have already achieved market approval as drugs, and many more are promising candidates in the late stages of clinical development. As such there remains considerable interest in this class of compound, both in terms of the exploration of novel iminosugar structures, as well as the continual development of more efficient general methodology for their synthesis. The densely-packed functionality and stereochemical information present in iminosugars makes them challenging targets for asymmetric chemical synthesis, whereas carbohydrates are clearly very attractive as chiral-pool starting materials for this purpose. Indeed, the majority of the most successful syntheses of iminosugars use the latter approach, and such is the focus of this thesis. Chapter 1 presents a relatively brief introduction to iminosugars, including their types of structure, natural occurrence and biological mode of action. The rationale behind their use as therapeutic agents for the treatment of some significant disease targets is also discussed. Chapter 2 is concerned with the preparation of a number of novel polyhydroxylated azetidines, and their evaluation as glycosidase inhibitors. Such compounds represent an almost entirely neglected class of iminosugars within the literature. An overview of natural and synthetic products incorporating an azetidine motif is given, as well as a brief review of preparative methods and known azetidine iminosugars. A highly efficient and flexible method for the key azetidine ring formation is demonstrated by the cyclisations of 3,5-di-O-triflates of pentoses and hexoses, and of a 2,4-di-O-triflate of glucose, with various primary amines. In this manner, many azetidine triols and tetrols were prepared in good yield. Furthermore, this process is readily adaptable to the installation of added functionality to the azetidine scaffold, as demonstrated by the preparation of 1-acetamido analogues. The initial biological screening of these compounds showed a promising array of glycosidase inhibition, including that of selective inhibition of fungal enzymes. Chapter 3 describes a strategy with which to prepare all sixteen stereoisomers of a known piperidine iminosugar, alpha-homonojirimycin (alpha-HNJ), in a highly divergent manner from just four of the possible thirty-two 6-azidoheptitols using traditional chemical synthesis in tandem with biotechnological transformations. One half of the execution of this strategy is described in this thesis. Two 6-azidoheptitols were prepared from D-mannose, thereby providing access to four 6-azidoketoheptoses through a combination of microbial oxidation and enzymatic epimerisation. Catalytic hydrogenation of these 6-azidoketoheptoses furnished four diastereomeric mixtures of 2,6-iminoheptitols, with varying degrees of stereoselectivity. Purification of these mixtures allowed six 2,6-iminoheptitols to be isolated, two of which have never previously been tested for glycosidase inhibition. Significantly, one of them was found to be a potent and highly selectiveinhibitor of alpha-galactosidases, and may therefore be of interest in the treatment of Fabry disease.
Supervisor: Fleet, George W. J. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Organic synthesis ; Synthetic organic chemistry ; Organic chemistry ; synthesis ; iminosugar ; bioactive ; glycosidase inhibitor ; azetidine ; homonojirimycin ; 6-iminoheptitol ; glycomimetic ; biotechnology