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Staudinger reaction

The Staudinger reaction or Staudinger reduction is a chemical reaction in which the combination of an azide with a phosphine or phosphite produces an iminophosphorane intermediate [1] [2]. Combined with the hydrolysis of the aza-ylide to produce a phosphine oxide and an amine, this reaction is a mild method of reducing an azide to an amine. Triphenylphosphine is commonly used as the reducing agent, yielding triphenylphosphine oxide as the side product in addition to the amine.

The reaction was invented by and named after Hermann Staudinger.

An example of a Staudinger reduction is the organic synthesis of this pinwheel compound [3]:


Reaction mechanism

The reaction mechanism centers around the formation of an iminophosphorane through nucleophilic addition of the phosphine at the terminal nitrogen atom of the azide and expulsion of nitrogen:

This intermediate is then hydrolyzed in the second step to the amine and triphenylphosphine oxide.

Staudinger ligation

Developed by Saxon and Bertozzi in 2000, the Staudinger ligation is a modification of the classical Staudinger reaction in which an electrophilic trap (usually a methyl ester) is appropriately placed on the triaryl phosphine [4]. In the Staudinger ligation, the aza-ylide intermediate rearranges, in aqueous media, to produce an amide linkage and the phosphine oxide, and is so named the Staudinger ligation because it ligates the two molecules together, whereas in the classical Staudinger reaction, the two products are not covalently linked after hydrolysis.

The general schematic for the Staudinger ligation is shown below.


The Staudinger ligation has seen many applications in the field of chemical biology.

In one application this reaction is used to create a bond between a nucleoside and a fluorescent marker [5] [6] :


  1. ^ Staudinger, H.; Meyer, J. Helv. Chim. Acta 1919, 2, 635.
  2. ^ Gololobov, Y. G. et al. Tetrahedron 1981, 37, 437.
  3. ^ Preparation of 1,3,5-Tris(aminomethyl)-2,4,6-triethylbenzene from Two Versatile 1,3,5-Tri(halosubstituted) 2,4,6-Triethylbenzene Derivatives Karl J. Wallace, Robert Hanes, Eric Anslyn, Jeroni Morey, Kathleen V. Kilway, Jay Siegeld Synthesis 2005: 2080-2083. (Abstract)
  4. ^ Saxon, E.; Bertozzi, C.R. Science 2000, 287, 2007.
  5. ^ Synthesis of coumarin or ferrocene labeled nucleosides via Staudinger ligation Kosiova I, Janicova A, Kois P Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2006 2:23 ( 30 November 2006 ) doi:10.1186/1860-5397-2-23
  6. ^ the nucleoside is based on deoxyuridine, the marker is a coumarin with a carboxyl group activated by HOBT
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Staudinger_reaction". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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