The synthesis of novel nitroxides and their application as small-molecule antioxidants and profluorescent probes for oxidative stress

Morrow, Benjamin Joseph (2010) The synthesis of novel nitroxides and their application as small-molecule antioxidants and profluorescent probes for oxidative stress. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The detection and potential treatment of oxidative stress in biological systems has been explored using isoindoline-based nitroxide radicals. A novel tetraethyl-fluorescein nitroxide was synthesised for its use as a profluorescent probe for redox processes in biological systems. This tetraethyl system, as well as a tetramethyl-fluorescein nitroxide, were shown to be sensitive and selective probes for superoxide in vitro. The redox environment of cellular systems was also explored using the tetramethylfluorescein species based on its reduction to the hydroxylamine. Flow cytometry was employed to assess the extent of nitroxide reduction, reflecting the overall cellular redox environment. Treatment of normal fibroblasts with rotenone and 2-deoxyglucose resulted in an oxidising cellular environment as shown by the lack of reduction of the fluorescein-nitroxide system. Assessment of the tetraethyl-fluorescein nitroxide system in the same way demonstrated its enhanced resistance to reduction and offers the potential to detect and image biologically relevant reactive oxygen species directly. Importantly, these profluorescent nitroxide compounds were shown to be more effective than the more widely used and commercially available probes for reactive oxygen species such as 2’,7’-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate. Fluorescence imaging of the tetramethyl-fluorescein nitroxide and a number of other rhodamine-nitroxide derivatives was undertaken, revealing the differential cellular localisation of these systems and thus their potential for the detection of redox changes in specific cellular compartments. As well as developing novel methods for the detection of oxidative stress, a number of novel isoindoline nitroxides were synthesised for their potential application as small-molecule antioxidants. These compounds incorporated known pharmacophores into the isoindoline-nitroxide structure in an attempt to increase their efficacy in biological systems. A primary and a secondary amine nitroxide were synthesised which incorporated the phenethylamine backbone of the sympathomimetic amine class of drugs. Initial assessment of the novel primary amine derivative indicated a protective effect comparable to that of 5-carboxy-1,1,3,3- tetramethylisoindolin-2-yloxyl. Methoxy-substituted nitroxides were also synthesised as potential antioxidants for their structural similarity to some amphetamine type stimulants. A copper-catalysed methodology provided access to both the mono- and di-substituted methoxy-nitroxides. Deprotection of the ethers in these compounds using boron tribromide successfully produced a phenolnitroxide, however the catechol moiety in the disubstituted derivative appeared to undergo reaction with the nitroxide to produce quinone-like degradation products. A novel fluoran-nitroxide was also synthesised from the methoxy-substituted nitroxide, providing a pH-sensitive spin probe. An amino-acid precursor containing a nitroxide moiety was also synthesised for its application as a dual-action antioxidant. N-Acetyl protection of the nitroxide radical was necessary prior to the Erlenmeyer reaction with N-acetyl glycine. Hydrolysis and reduction of the azlactone intermediate produced a novel amino acid precursor with significant potential as an effective antioxidant.

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ID Code: 39445
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Bottle, Steven & Fairfull-Smith, Kathryn
Keywords: 2-deoxyglucose, amine, amino acid, aminoxyl, antioxidant, copper catalysis, flow cytometry, fluoran, fluorescein, fluorescence, fluorophore, hydroxylamine, isoindoline, microscopy, nitric oxide, nitroxide, nitroxyl, oxidative stress, paramagnetic, pharmacophore, phenol, probe, profluorescent, redox, redox environment, reduction, rotenone, superoxide, sympathomimetic, xanthene
Divisions: Past > Schools > Chemistry
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 06 Jan 2011 05:56
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:01

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