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A protecting group or protective group is introduced into a molecule by chemical modification of a functional group in order to obtain chemoselectivity in a subsequent chemical reaction. It plays an important role in multistep organic synthesis.
In many preparations of delicate organic compounds, some specific parts of their molecules cannot survive the required reagents or chemical environments. Then, these parts, or groups, must be protected. For example, lithium aluminum hydride is a highly reactive but useful reagent capable of reducing esters to alcohols. It will always react with carbonyl groups, and this cannot be discouraged by any means. When a reduction of an ester is required in the presence of a carbonyl, the attack of the hydride on the carbonyl has to be prevented. For example, the carbonyl is converted into an acetal, which does not react with hydrides. The acetal is then called a protecting group for the carbonyl. After the step involving the hydride is complete, the acetal is removed (by reacting it with an aqueous acid), giving back the original carbonyl. This step is called deprotection.
Protecting groups are more commonly used in small-scale laboratory work and initial development than in industrial production processes because their use adds additional steps and material costs to the process.
Additional recommended knowledge
Common protecting groups
Alcohol protecting groups
Protection of alcohols:
Amine protecting groups
Protection of amines:
Carbonyl protecting groups
Protection of carbonyl groups:
Carboxylic acid protecting groups
Protection of carboxylic acids:
Orthogonal protection is a strategy allowing the deprotection of multiple protective groups one at the time each with a dedicated set of reaction conditions without affecting the other. It was introduced in the field of peptide synthesis by Robert Bruce Merrifield in 1977 . As a proof of concept orthogonal deprotection is demonstrated in a photochemical transesterification by trimethylsilyldiazomethane utilizing the kinetic isotope effect :
Due to this effect the quantum yield for deprotection of the right-side ester group is reduced and it stays intact. Significantly by placing the deuterium atoms next to the left-side ester group or by changing the wavelength to 254 nm the other monoarene is obtained.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Protecting_group". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|