Synthesis of ortho-formylphenylphosphonic acids as covalent probes of active site lysines

Marlon Vincent V. Duro, Khadijeh S. Alnajjar, Joann B. Sweasy, Boris A. Kashemirov, Charles E. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During the course of an investigation of targeted inhibition of DNA polymerase beta (pol β) lyase activity using small molecules, we observed the formation of an aldimine between (2-formyl)phenylphosphonic acid (2FPP) and butylamine under basic aqueous conditions; complete deprotonation of the phosphonate group was required to stabilize the imine product. Results of computational docking studies suggested that the reaction of Lys-72 on the lyase active site with an aldehyde group could be facilitated by a proximal phosphonate, not only because of the phosphonate’s ability to mimic phosphate interacting with the DNA binding site, but also because of its ability to shield the imine against hydrolysis. Novel pol β lyase inhibitors were thus prepared using a 2FPP analogue with an amine linker; P-C bond formation in synthesis of this intermediate was possible with an unprotected aldehyde using palladium-catalyzed, microwave-assisted Michaelis–Arbuzov chemistry. These compounds, and structurally related derivatives lacking the aldehyde or phosphonate, were evaluated in an assay for pol β to assess their potential for inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-314
Number of pages2
JournalPhosphorus, Sulfur and Silicon and the Related Elements
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - May 27 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA polymerase
  • inhibitor
  • lyase
  • phosphonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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