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Organosulfur Chemistry

Organosulfur compounds often engage in reactivity that defies the conventional intuition of organic chemists, making it good fun for the most adventurous of us - on top of being a fertile playground for new reactivity. Our group first became enamored by the magic of sulfur while studying the antioxidant activity of allicin, the origin of garlic’s characteristic odour. We have since pursued a variety of projects aimed at understanding the H-atom transfer activity of organosulfur compounds (some of which are among the most potent known) and radical substitution chemistry on polysulfide species, which has enabled synthetic method development and clarified the basis of their important antioxidant activity. We have also aimed to shed light on the various mechanisms by which thiols undergo oxidation, as this is key to the role of amino acid cysteine in protein structure/function and cell signaling. 

Check out some representative work from our lab:

Photocatalytic C-S Bond Formation Using N-Thio and N-Perthio Phthalimide Derivatives

Hsin-Ju Huang, Zijun Wu & Derek A. Pratt*

ACS Catalysis 2023, 13, 13912-13919

Radical Approaches to C-S Bonds

Zijun Wu & Derek A. Pratt*

Nature Reviews Chemistry 2023, 7, 573-589

A Divergent Strategy for Site-Selective Radical Disulfuration

of Carboxylic Acids with Trisulfide-1,1-Dioxides

Zijun Wu & Derek A. Pratt*

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2021, 60, 15598-15605


Radical Substitution on Tetrasulfides: A Unique Route to Disulfides 

Zijun Wu & Derek A. Pratt* 

Journal of the American Chemical Society 2020, 142, 10284-10290


The Hydrogen Atom Transfer Reactivity of Sulfinic Acids

Markus Griesser, Jean-Philippe R. Chauvin & Derek A. Pratt* 

Chemical Science 2018, 9, 7218-7229

On the Mechanism of Thiol, Sulfenic and Sulfinic Acid Oxidation

by Hydrogen Peroxide

Jean-Philippe R. Chauvin & Derek A. Pratt* 

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2017, 56, 6255-6259

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