• Synthesis and characterization of BODIPY-α-tocopherol : a new ligand to explore the intracellular transfer of Vitamin E

      West, Ryan.; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      Since its discovery nearly a century ago, a-tocopherol (vitamin E) research has been mainly focused on its ability to terminate the cycle of lipid peroxidation in membranes. Nitrobenzoxadiazole fluorescent analogues were made previously to study the intracellular transfer of vitamin E in cells. However, these molecules were reportedly susceptible to photobleaching while under illumination for transfer assays and microscopy. Here is reported the synthesis of a series of fluorescent analogues of vitamin E incorporating the more robust dipyrrometheneboron difluoride fluorophore (BDP-a-Tocs; Aex = 507 nm, Aem = 511 nm). C8-BDP-a-Toc 42c, having an eight-carbon chain between the chromanol and fluorophore, wa<; shown to bind specifically to a-tocopherol transfer protein with a dissociation constant of approximately 100 nM. Another fluorescent analogue of vitamin E with a thienyl derivative of BODIPY that is excited and fluoresces at longer wavelengths (Aex = 561 nm, Aem = 570 nm) is in development.
    • The synthesis of a-Tocohexaenol, a new fluorescent analogue of a-Tocopherol

      Wang, Yongsheng.; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 2008-11-04)
      Since its discovery in 1922, vitamin E has been widely investigated for its role as a powerful, chain-breaking antioxidant that is required for human health. However, some basic issues still remain unclear, such as the mechanism and dynamics of the intracellular trafficking of a-tocopherol. To better understand tocopherol's biological activity at the cellular level, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy have been found to be valuable tools. This thesis reports the synthesis of a new fluorescent analogue of a-tocopherol, atocohexaenol, an intrinsically fluorescent analogue of a-tocopherol. Different methodologies of preparation have been attempted and a strategy using a preformed chromanol head plus ClO and Cs portion of the polyene side chain finally provided us the desired a-tocohexaenol. a-Tocohexaenol shows a strong fluorescence in both ethanol and hexanes with maximum Aab = 368 nm and maximum /...em = 521 nm. This compound is stable for a couple of weeks in ethanol or hexane solution if stored at 0 °C and protected form light. It decomposes slowly at room temperature and light will accelerate its decomposition (within 5 hours). Thus, a-Tocohexaenol may be a useful fluorescent probe to study the biochemistry and cell biology of vitamin E.