Suppression of Side Reactions During Final Deprotection Employing a Strong Acid in Boc Chemistry: Regeneration of Methionyl Residues from Their Sulfonium Salts
In peptide synthesis, the use of N(alpha)-tert-butyloxycarbonyl-N(pi)-benzyloxymethylhistidine [Boc-His(pi-Bom)] raises the problem of the Bom group generating formaldehyde during the hydrogen fluoride (HF) cleavage reaction. This can lead to modification of the functional groups on amino acids in the peptide chain. Besides this side reaction, the failure of N(alpha)-Boc deprotection from the His(pi-Bom) residue occurs during TFA treatment for the standard solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) even in the case of a non 'difficult sequence'. This gives amino acid deletion products generated at the N-terminus of the His(pi-Bom) residues. Reviewing the removability of the Boc group on amino acid derivatives showed that the group on the His(pi-Bom) residue was much more resistant under the deprotecting conditions than expected. To circumvent this problem, special precautions, i.e. prolonged deprotection steps and/or increased concentrations of TFA, should be taken for a successful SPPS.