Alkali metal ion catalysis in nucleophilic displacement by ethoxide ion on p-nitrophenyl phenylphosphonate: Evidence for multiple metal ion catalysis1

Erwin Buncel, Ruby Nagelkerke, Gregory R.J. Thatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

In continuation of our studies of alkali metal ion catalysis and inhibition at carbon, phosphorus, and sulfur centers, the role of alkali metal ions in nucleophilic displacement reactions of p-nitrophenyl phenylphosphonate (PNPP) has been examined. All alkali metal ions studied acted as catalysts. Alkali metal ions added as inert salts increased the rate-while decreased rate resulted on M+ complexation with 18-crown-6 ether. Kinetic analysis indicated the interaction of possibly three potassium ions, four sodium ions, and five lithium ions in the transition state of the reactions of ethoxide with PNPP. Pre-association of the anionic substrate with two metals ions in the ground state gave the best fit to the experimental data of the sodium system. Thus, the study gives evidence of the role of several metal ions in nucleophilic displacement reactions of ethoxide with anionic PNPP, both in the ground state and in the transition state. Molecular modeling of the anionic transition state implies that the size of the monovalent cation and the steric requirement of the pentacoordinate transition state are the primary limitations on the number of cations that can be brought to bear to stabilize the transition state and catalyze nucleophilic substitution at phosphorus. The bearing of the present work on metal ion catalysis in enzyme systems is discussed, in particular enzymes that catalyze phosphoryl transfer, which often employ multiple metal ions. Our results, both kinetic and modeling, reveal the importance of electrostatic stabilization of the transition state for phosphoryl transfer that may be effected by multiple cations, either monovalent metal ions or amino acid residues. The more such cations can be brought into contact with the anionic transition state, the greater the catalysis observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemistry
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alkali metal ion catalysis
  • Multiple metal ion catalysis
  • Nucleophilic displacement at phosphorus
  • Phosphoryl transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Organic Chemistry

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