Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Efficient Synthesis of Azasugars from Pentoses

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posted on 2021-12-09, 10:28 authored by Michael Meijlink

Azasugars [e.g., 1-deoxy-aza-xylopyranose (1) Figure 1] are structural analogues of sugars [e.g., α-D-xylopyranose (2)] where the ring oxygen is substituted by a nitrogen atom. The resemblance of azasugars to their carbohydrate counterparts gives them various biological properties, such as the inhibition of glycosidase and glycosyltransferase enzymes, and as such, these compounds have been in clinical trials for the treatment of AIDS, diabetes,and cancer. Synthetic routes to azasugars have often involved the use of protecting groups, and therefore have generally reduced efficiency by requiring additional steps to apply or remove protecting groups or requiring adjustment of stereochemistry during the synthesis. This thesis presents the first example of a synthesis of four sterochemically different piperidine triols through a four-step methodology minimising the use of protecting groups starting from pentoses. The synthesis of D-xylose derived (3R,4r,5S)-piperidine triol was previously obtained in 40% yield over five steps, but was afforded in 45% overall yield over four steps using the methodology described within this thesis. Next, D-ribose derived (3R,4s,5S)-piperidine triol was obtained in 40% overall yield over four steps, which afforded a vast improvement on the previous most efficient synthetic route obtaining the azasugar in 24% yield over four steps. This four-step three-pot methodology has thus allowed for the synthesis of these piperidine triols in overall yields ranging from 4-69%, surpassing previous total syntheses in efficiency and improving overall atom economy. To further probe the applicability of the methodology, N-alkyl analogues (such as butyl-, phenylethyl-, and hydroxyethyl-analogues) of all four different piperidine triols were synthesised in comparable or greater overall yields compared to literature reports without any required adaptation to the original procedure. Included in these N-alkyl analogues are seven novel azasugars which were obtained in overall yields ranging from 6-35%.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences


Timmer, Mattie; Stocker, Bridget