Intracellular deprotection reactions mediated by palladium complexes equipped with designed phosphine ligands

Miguel Martínez-Calvo, José R. Couceiro, Paolo Destito, Jéssica Rodríguez, Jesús Mosquera, José L. Mascareñas

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Discrete palladium(II) complexes featuring purposely designed phosphine ligands can promote depropargylation and deallylation reactions in cell lysates. These complexes perform better than other palladium sources, which apparently are rapidly deactivated in such hostile complex media. This good balance between reactivity and stability allows the use of these discrete phosphine palladium complexes in living mammalian cells, whereby they can mediate similar transformations. The presence of a phosphine ligand in the coordination sphere of palladium also provides for the introduction of targeting groups, such as hydrophobic phosphonium moieties, which facilitate the accumulation of the complexes in mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6055-6061
Number of pages7
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018


  • bioorthogonal
  • discrete complexes
  • intracellular catalysis
  • mitochondrial confinement
  • palladium

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