Summer Science Research at Bryn Mawr

'Leedle, Melissa' Archive

Synthesis and Study of Molybdopterin

Posted May 28, 2010

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.