Indolenines. Reduction by a Dihydropyridine and Addition to Thiols

Karl A. Schellenberg, George W. McLean, Hugh L. Lipton, Paul S. Lietman

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18 Scopus citations


Indolenines were studied as models for the postulated indolenine intermediate derived from tryptophanyl residues in dehydrogenase enzymes. An indolenine salt (o-chlorophenyl(2-methyl-3H-indolylidene)methane hydrochloride) was rapidly reduced by l-benzyl-l,4-dihydronicotinamide. The products of the reaction were the corresponding indole and pyridinium salt. Similar reduction by 1 -benzyl-1,4-dideuterionicotinamide produced the indole with one deuterium atom in the methylene group, indicating direct transfer of a hydride ion in the reaction. The effect of phenyl substituents on the rate of reduction was examined. Reduction of p-methoxy-, o-chloro-, and p-nitrophenyl(2-methyl-3H-indolylidene)methane hydrochloride by 1 -benzyl-1,4-dihydronicotinamide in ethanol at 25° followed the rate law v = K2(indolenine)(dihydropyridine), with k3 = 7,25, and 32 1. mole-1 sec-1, respectively. The o-chloroindolenine salt readily added to mercaptobenzene, benzyl mercaptan, and methyl thioglycollate to give the corresponding thioether-indole, o-chlorophenyl(2-methyl-3-indolyl)alkylthio- (or arylthio-) methane. Acidic dithionite reductively cleaved such a thioether-indole adduct to the free indole and mercaptan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1948-1950
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 1967

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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