Mentor: Dr. Sharon Burgmayer
Molybdenum is relatively abundant in nature and is contained in enzymes. Genetic disorders in humans that affect molybdenum enzymes are usually fatal. Molybdopterin, a dithiolene ligand, is present on several molybdenum and tungsten enzymes. Synthesizing and studying the molybdopterin can further understand the chemistry at the active site of a molybdenum cofactor.
In my summer research, I plan to work with Mica Grantham and synthesize the molybdopterin compound. I will be working the eight-step process, which takes ten to twelve days to complete. The initial reactions are used to synthesize the pterin. In the final steps, 2-pivaloyl-6-chloropterin is taken and reacted with phenylacetylene to form phenyl ethynyl pivalated pterin, which will be connected to molybdenum forming a model for a molybdenum cofactor. My goal for the summer is to become acquainted with the reaction sequence and to build up a stockpile of phenyl ethynyl pivalated pterin.