Adelaide Morrison

Improved Synthesis of [2,3-b] Selenophene Pyrrole

Gaining a better understanding of protein structure and function is vital to discovering the cause of disease in response to changes in protein structure. In x-ray crystallography, the incorporation of heavier atoms such as selenium and tellurium into selected proteins may provide better resolution by improving x-ray diffraction data A selenium-containing tryptophan analog, [2,3-b] selenophene pyrrole, can be synthesized as a precursor to seleno-tryptophan. (Se-Trp).

Previous attempts to produce selenophene pyrrole have been successful, but the yield has been undesirable. Additionally, the yields are not valid enough to be considered commercially usable. By improving techniques and percent yields of our synthesis of [2,3-b] selenophene pyrrole, we will be one step closer to increasing the number of electron-dense amino acids available for studying protein structure via X-ray crystallography.

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