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The guanidine functional group, displayed most prominently in the amino acid arginine, one of the fundamental building blocks of life, is an important structural element found in many complex natural products and pharmaceuticals. Owing to the continual discovery of new guanidinecontaining natural products and designed small molecules, rapid and efficient guanidinylation methods are of keen interest to synthetic and medicinal organic chemists. Because the nucleophilicity and basicity of guanidines can affect subsequent chemical transformations, traditional, indirect guanidinylation is typically pursued. Indirect methods commonly employ multiple protection steps involving a latent amine precursor, such as an azide, phthalimide, or carbamate. By circumventing these circuitous methods and employing a direct guanidinylation reaction early in the synthetic sequence, it was possible to forge the linear terminal guanidine containing backbone of clavatadine A to realize a short and streamlined synthesis of this potent factor XIa inhibitor. In practice, guanidine hydrochloride is elaborated with a carefully constructed protecting array that is optimized to survive the synthetic steps to come. In the preparation of clavatadine A, direct guanidinylation of a commercially available diamine eliminated two unnecessary steps from its synthesis. Coupled with the wide variety of known guanidine protecting groups, direct guanidinylation evinces a succinct and efficient practicality inherent to methods that find a home in a synthetic chemist's toolbox.
Malmberg, C.E., Chamberland, S. A Direct, Early Stage Guanidinylation Protocol for the Synthesis of Complex Aminoguanidine-containing Natural Products. J. Vis. Exp. (115), e53593, doi:10.3791/53593 (2016).
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