Improved method for the synthesis of 1- or 3-acyl-sn-glycerols.

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Optically active 1- or 3-acyl-sn-glycerols were synthesized from 2,3- or 1,2-isopropylidene-sn-glycerols, respectively. The 2,3- or 1,2-isopropylidene-sn-glycerols were condensed with appropriate long saturated or unsaturated fatty acids and the resulting acyl isopropylidene compounds were treated with dimethylboronbromide at - 50 degrees C to give the title compounds. The ketal cleavage of acyl isopropylidene-sn-glycerols by dimethylboronbromide to produce the long 1- or 3-acyl-sn-glycerols was effective and gave good yields (70-90%). The reaction conditions were mild and there was no acyl migration, as shown by optical rotation of the monoacyl-sn-glycerols. The synthesis of 2,3-isopropylidene-sn-glycerol was improved to give an overall yield of 40% from L-arabinose. L-Arabinose was first converted to its 1,1'-diethylmercapto derivative and then condensed with 2-methoxypropene to yield 1,1'-diethyl-mercapto-4,5-isopropylidene-L-arabinose. Oxidation of this compound with sodium periodate followed by reduction with sodium borohydride under alkaline conditions yielded 2,3-isopropylidene-sn-glycerol [alpha]22D = -14.90 degrees, neat (Lit. 8 [alpha]22D = -14.5 degrees, neat; 14 [alpha]25D = -10.8 degrees; methanol C, 16.9). The optical purity of isopropylidene-sn-glycerols was determined as benzoyl derivatives on a high performance liquid chromatographic column packed with a chiral stationary phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-469
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1987


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