A process has been designed and demonstrated for the asymmetric synthesis of sulfinamides using quinine as auxiliary. A variety of chiral sulfinamides including N-alkyl sulfinamides with diverse structure were prepared in good yields and excellent enantioselectivity starting from easily available and inexpensive reagents. The auxiliary quinine could be recovered and recycled.
Natural killer T (NKT) cells recognize glycolipids presented by CD1d. The first antigen described, ?-galactosyl ceramide (?GalCer), is a potential anticancer agent whose activity depends upon IFN-? secretion. We report two analogs of ?GalCer based on a naturally occurring glycosphingolipid, plakoside A. These compounds induce enhanced IFN-? that correlates with detergent-resistant binding to CD1d and an increased stability of the lipid-CD1d complexes on antigen-presenting cells. Structural analysis on one of the analogs indicates that it is more deeply bound inside the CD1d groove, suggesting tighter lipid-CD1d interactions. To our knowledge, this is the first example in which structural information provides an explanation for the increased lipid-CD1d stability, likely responsible for the Th1 bias. We provide insights into the mechanism of IFN-?-inducing compounds, and because our compounds activate human NKT cells, they could have therapeutic utility.
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