Azido- and Triazolyl-modified Nucleoside/tide Analogues: Chemistry, Fluorescent Properties, and Anticancer Activities Dissertation

(2018). Azido- and Triazolyl-modified Nucleoside/tide Analogues: Chemistry, Fluorescent Properties, and Anticancer Activities . 10.25148/etd.FIDC006844

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Wen, Zhiwei


  • Two classes of C5 azido-modified pyrimidine nucleosides were synthesized and explored as radiosensitizers. The 5-azidomethyl-2'-deoxyuridine (AmdU) was prepared from thymidine and converted to its cytosine counterpart (AmdC). The 5-(1-azidovinyl) modified 2'-deoxyuridine (AvdU) and 2'-deoxycytidine (AvdC) were prepared employing regioselective Ag-catalyzed hydroazidation of 5-ethynyl pyrimidine substrates with TMSN3. AmdU and AmdC were converted to 5'-triphosphates AmdUTP and AmdCTP, and incorporated into DNA-fragments via polymerase-catalyzed reaction during DNA replication and base excision repair. Radiation-mediated prehydrated electrons formed in homogeneous aqueous glassy (7.5 M LiCl) systems in the absence of oxygen at 77 K led to site-specific formation of π-type aminyl radicals (RNH•) from AmdU, AmdC, AvdU, and AvdC. The ESR spectral studies and DFT calculations showed RNH• undergo facile conversion to thermodynamically more stable σ-type iminyl radicals, R=N•. For AmdU, conversion of RNH• to R=N• was bimolecular involving α-azidoalkyl radical as intermediate; however, for AvdU, RNH• tautomerized to R=N•. Our work provides the first evidence for the formation of RNH• attached to C5 position of azidopyrimidine nucleoside and its facile conversion to R=N• under reductive environment. These aminyl and iminyl radicals can generate DNA damage via oxidative pathways. The azido-nucleosides were successfully applied as radiosensitizers in EMT6 cancer cells in both hypoxic and normoxic conditions. To explore the generation and reactivity of 2'‑deoxyguanosin-N2-yl radical (dG(N2-H)•) postulated to generate from guanine moiety towards •OH, 2-azido-2'-deoxyinosine (2-N3dI) was prepared by conversion of 2-amino group in protected dG into 2-azido via diazotization with tert-butyl nitrite followed by displacement with azide and deprotection. The investigation of dG(N2-H)• generated from 2-N3dI and its subsequent reactions using ESR will be discussed.

    Cycloaddition between 5-ethynylpyrimidine or 8-ethynylpurine nucleosides and TMSN3 in the presence of Ag2CO3, CuI, or CuSO4/sodium ascorbate provided N-unsubstituted 1,2,3-triazol-4-yl analogues of the parental DNA bases (i.e. 5-TrzdU, 5‑TrzdC, 8-TrzdA, and 8-TrzdG). These novel triazolyl nucleosides showed excellent fluorescent properties: 8-TrzdA exhibits the highest quantum yield (ΦF) of 44% while 8‑TrzdG had ΦF of 9%. The 5-TrzdU and 5-TrzdC showed a large Stokes shift of ~110 nm. The application of these fluorescent nucleosides to cell imaging and DNA modifications will also be discussed.

publication date

  • June 25, 2018


  • aminyl radical
  • anticancer
  • azide
  • fluorescent
  • hypoxia
  • iminyl radical
  • nucleoside analogues
  • radiosensitizer
  • triazole

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)