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    A β-keto ester grouping is a characteristic of ring E of the chlorophylls (Chls). Its presence has also reinforced the original identification of nonfluorescent Chl catabolites (NCCs) as colorless, amphiphilic phyllobilins (PBs). Polar NCCs were also detected in higher plants, in which a free carboxyl group replaced the ring E ester group. Such NCCs are surprisingly resistant to loss of this carboxyl unit, and NCCs lacking the latter, that is, pyro-NCCs (pyNCCs), have not been reported. Intrigued by the question of the natural occurrence of pyro-phyllobilins (pyPBs), we have prepared a representative pyNCC by decarboxylation of a natural NCC. We also converted the pyNCC into its yellow oxidation product, a pyro-YCC (pyYCC). The solution structures of pyNCC and of pyYCC, and a crystal structure of the pyYCC methyl ester (pyYCC-Me) were obtained. pyYCC-Me features the same remarkable H-bonded and π-stacked dimer structure as the corresponding natural yellow Chl catabolite (YCC) with the ring E methyl ester group. Indeed, the latter substituent has little effect on the structure, as well as on the unique self-assembly and photoswitch behavior of yellow PBs. © 2018 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

    Citation

    Chengjie Li, Klaus Wurst, Joachim Berghold, Maren Podewitz, Klaus R Liedl, Bernhard Kräutler. Pyro-Phyllobilins: Elusive Chlorophyll Catabolites Lacking a Critical Carboxylate Function of the Natural Chlorophylls. Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 2018 Feb 26;24(12):2987-2998

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    PMID: 29244236

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