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New Oxidation Products Of Tryptophan

WE Savige

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Oxidation of L- or DL-tryptophan by one molar equivalent of peroxyacetic acid in water at 0-5� gives principally a mixture of 3a- hydroxy-1,2,3,3a,8,8a-hexahydropyrrolo[2,3-b]indole-2-carboxylic acid (A) diastereoisomers, while oxidation by two or three equivalents of oxidant gives mainly N?-formylkynurenine (C11H12N2O4) and a diastereoisomeric product (B), C11H12N2O5, tentatively assigned the structure 2-amino-3-(4-hydroxy-2-oxo-1,4-dihydro-2H-3,1-benzoxazin-4- yl)propionic acid. ��� Oxidation of (A) by peroxyacetic acid also gives formylkynurenine and (B). Rearrangement of (A) to oxindolylalanine occurs in 12N HCl at 20� or 2N HCl at 80�. (A) is also obtained by reduction of dioxindolylalanine with sodium borohydride. Compound (B) readily undergoes decarboxylation to kynurenine in 0.1N acetic acid at 80�, while in neutral or alkaline solution rapid autoxidation can occur even at room temperature.