Synthesizing and Modeling the Molybdenum Cofactor

Posted June 24th, 2010 at 1:37 pm.

Abstract: Yichun Fu
Mentor: Dr. Burgmayer
Molybdenum is a 4d transition metal. It has crucial biological functions in many enzymes. Despite the differences among the Mo-containing enzymes, they all have a Molybdenum cofactor named as Moco, which promotes the catalytic activities of an enzyme. The Moco utilizes a dithiolene ligand, Molybdopterin. The Burgmayer group conducted successful research to synthesize Molybdopterin via two pathways, using tetrasulfide and pterinyl alkynes.

The focus of this project is synthesizing Molybdopterin and its precursors tetrasulfide TEA[Tp*Mo(S)S4] and BMOPP, one of the pterinyl alkynes. The goal is to replicate the results of previous experiments in large scale, compare the conditions and effectiveness, and perfect the methods. We compare the differences in the instructions from different resources and determine the best methods via experiments. Another objective is to improve the process of DMF distillation to produce pure tetrasulfide of high yield. DMF is a solvent used in the synthesis of tetrasulfide. The DMF has to be completely dried and distilled under N2 in order to protect the water-sensitive tetrasulfide from moisture and oxidation. Mass spectrometry, FT-IR, and H1NMR are used in the project to monitor the reaction and identify the compounds. Schlenk line is also used to conduct reaction under nitrogen. Therefore, another goal of the project is to acquire the relevant lab skills and develop the research methodology.

Filed under: 2010,Burgmayer, Dr. Sharon,Fu, Yichun Tags: by Lisa Klinman

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