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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, Organic Chemistry, Microbiology

Publication Details

Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 25, Issue 16, 15 August 2017, Pages 4285-4296


In their 1H NMR spectra in CDCl3 3-oxo-N-acyl homoserine lactones (OHLs) show significant downfield chemical shifts of the amide N-H proton when compared to the parent N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs). NMR spectroscopic and DFT calculation studies have shown that this is most likely due to the presence of a stabilising intramolecular H-bond from the N-H to the 3-oxo group. The 1H NMR spectra also show evidence for the enol tautomers and that the amount of enol present for a range of OHLs is 4.1-4.5% in CDCl3 and 6.5-7.2% in CD3CN. In contrast, DFT calculations show that the lowest energy enol tautomer and the keto tautomer are of equal energy in the gas phase, but that the keto tautomer is more stable in chloroform, acetonitrile and water solution. The calculations also show that there is no evidence for any n→p* or C5 H-bonding interactions being present in either the lowest energy keto or enol tautomer of the OHLs in solution or the gas phase, which is in contrast to the reported solid-state structure.



Irish Government; Irish Research Council