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The effect of substituents on carbon–carbon double bond isomerization in heterocyclic hydrazine derivatives

Even though enehydrazide moiety is present in many pharmaceuticals, there is currently no straightforward method available for preparing cyclic enehydrazides, which could be valuable building blocks in anticancer research. Herein, we report how electronic effects and ring size influence the direction and yield of Ru catalytic carbon–carbon double bond isomerization in heterocyclic enehydrazines. Having the knowledge of how variation of these properties affects the equilibrium between double bond isomers enables us to control the outcome when preparing different cyclic enehydrazides. Six enehydrazide heterocycles and five enehydrazine heterocycles were synthesized and characterized with the current method. In addition, cytotoxicity evaluation of the synthesized compounds showed that several heterocycles produced in this study could be used in developing anticancer drugs.

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Figure 1.
Scheme 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.


  1. In the NMR spectra, asterisk denotes the minor conformer, so far identified.


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This research was supported by institutional research funding project IUT20-17 of the Estonian Ministry of Education and the Estonia–Russia Cross Border Cooperation Program (ER30).

The authors would like to thank Lauri Toom for his help with NMR related problems, Lauri Vares for his support and advice, and TBD Biodiscovery for supplying doxorubicin for cytotoxicity measurements.

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Correspondence to Marta-Lisette Pikma.

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Published in Khimiya Geterotsiklicheskikh Soedinenii, 2022, 58(4/5), 206–216

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Pikma, ML., Ilisson, M., Zalite, R. et al. The effect of substituents on carbon–carbon double bond isomerization in heterocyclic hydrazine derivatives. Chem Heterocycl Comp 58, 206–216 (2022).

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