Hydrogen bond-free flavin redox properties: Managing flavins in extreme aprotic solvents

Jose F. Cerda, Ronald L. Koder, Bruce R. Lichtenstein, Christopher M. Moser, Anne Frances Miller, P. Leslie Dutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We report a simple, single step reaction that transforms riboflavin, which is insoluble in benzene, to tetraphenylacetyl riboflavin (TPARF), which is soluble in this solvent to over 250 mM. Electrochemical analysis of TPARF both alone and in complexes with two benzene-soluble flavin receptors: dibenzylamidopyridine (DBAP) and monobenzylamidopyridine (MBAP), prove that this model system behaves similarly to other previously studied flavin model systems which were soluble only in more polar solvents such as dichloromethane. Binding titrations in both benzene and dichloromethane show that the association constants of TPARF with its ligands are over an order of magnitude higher in benzene than dichloromethane, a consequence of the fact that benzene does not compete for H-bonds, but dichloromethane does. The alteration induced in the visible spectrum of TPARF in benzene upon the addition of DBAP is very similar to the difference produced by transfer to dichloromethane, further indicating that the flavin head group engages in a similar degree of hydrogen bonding with dichloromethane as with its ligands. This work underlines the importance of using a truly nonpolar solvent for the analysis of the effects of hydrogen bonding on the energetics of any biomimetic host-guest model system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2204-2212
Number of pages9
JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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