Noncovalent interactions between tetrazole and an N,N′-diethyl-substituted benzamidine

L. Peters, R. Fröhlich, A. S F Boyd, A. Kraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Amidines have long been known to form strong noncovalent complexes with carboxylates and phosphates. However, their interaction with tetrazoles, which are acidic heterocycles and important bioisosteric replacements for carboxylic acids in medicinal chemistry, has remained unexplored so far. The binding of a tetrazole to an N,N'-diethyl-substituted benzamidine has been studied for the first time by X-ray crystallography, solution NMR methods, and electrospray mass spectrometry. The amidinium group of model complex 3 was found to prefer an E,Z configuration in the crystal. Benzamidinium and tetrazolate groups alternate along an infinite chain of hydrogen bonds and salt bridges between the amidine-NH groups and the two tetrazole-N atoms next to the ring carbon. In solution, a 1:1 complex was evident from Job's method of continuous variation, and an association constant of 4.0 × 103 ± 1.6 × 103 M-1 (in CDCl3/CD3CN, 6:1) could be determined by 1H NMR dilution experiments. Tetrazolate was not only found to be a weaker ligand than carboxylates but, surprisingly, the: binding mode also changed with concentration in neat CDCl3. At low concentrations, the amidine group in complex 3 adapted an E,E configuration as it does in a related carboxylic acid complex 4. With increasing concentration, the E,Z isomer starts to predominate. A free activation enthalpy ?298‡ of 64 ± 1 kJ mol-1 for the E,E to E,Z isomerization was determined by line shape analysis at different magnetic fields. Binding strength was further probed in a competition experiment between a bisamidine, a carboxylate, and a tetrazolate by electrospray mass spectrometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3291-3298
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2001


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