Photolytic Cleavage of Sulfonamide Bonds

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Science  24 May 1968:
Vol. 160, Issue 3830, pp. 882-883
DOI: 10.1126/science.160.3830.882


It has been found that the sulfonamide bond is relatively susceptible to photolytic cleavage. The breakdown was effected either by irradiation with a source having a continuous emission above the wavelengths of 1800 angstroms or by another source emitting principally at 2537 angstroms. Less destruction of the amino acids was seen with the latter relative to the sulfonamide bond cleavage. The cleavage was not effected by irradiation at wavelengths greater than about 3000 angstroms. Side reactions were noted involving decarboxylation, demination, and destruction of certain susceptible amino acids such as tryptophan. In only one case was a product found that arose from cleavage of a carboxamide bond; glycyltyrosine gave glycine and tyrosine upon irradiation. A yield of 75 percent of the corresponding amino acid has been obtained by irradiation of tosylhistidine; yields of 75 to 100 percent have been obtained from sulfamic acid (NH2SO3H). A qualitative method for identifying sulfonylated amino acids is described.

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