Preparation, Properties and Crystal Structure of Syn-Isomer of 2,6-Dichlorophenyl-Cyanoxime, H(2,6-diCl-PhCO): Potent Carbonyl Reductase Inhibitor

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The oximino(2,6-dichlorophenyl)acetonitrile, H(2,6-diCl-PhCO) has been synthesized in a reasonably high yield of 60%, and characterized using a variety of physical, electrochemical, spectroscopic methods and X-ray analysis. This compound belongs to the family of cyanoximes; a new subclass of oximes with the general formula NC–C(=N–OH)–R (where R is an electron-withdrawing group) which recently emerged as new biologically active compounds. This cyanoxime represents a disubstituted arylcyanoxime that was found to be a powerful inhibitor of the Carbonyl Reductase enzyme involved in the developing of resistance to anticancer treatment, and the making of cardiotoxic derivatives of anthracyclines that are currently used in medicine. The oximino(2,6-dichlorophenyl)acetonitrile, H(2,6-diCl-PhCO) is a weak acid with pKa = 6.17 and does not dissociate in organic polar protic and aprotic solvents. The cyanoxime was obtained as a microcrystalline mixture of two diastereomers (anti- and syn-) and deprotonates in solutions with the formation of yellow anions which exhibit solvatochromic behavior. However, one specific diastereomer—syn—was isolated in crystalline form from a solvent system as colorless blocks overlayed with pentane ether solution in a monoclinic system in a P2/c (#13) space group with unit cell parameters: 𝑎 = 8.1720(2), 𝑏 = 8.8013(3), 𝑐 = 13.0146(4) and β = 102.546(3); Z = 4. A single crystal was studied using filtered CuKa radiation, providing Rint value of 0.0348 from a full-sphere of reflections. A crystal structure was solved using direct methods, and well refined to R1 = 0.0459, wR2 = 0.1268 and GOF = 1.107. The studied specimen of oximino(2,6-dichlorophenyl)acetonitrile, H(2,6-diCl-PhCO), represents a highly non-planar, rare syn-diastereomer in which the oxime fragment is positioned towards the chlorinated phenyl group. In the crystal, the compound forms a columnar structure extended along the c-direction by using slipped π–π stacking interactions. Columns are interconnected via H-bonding between the oxime OH-group and N atom of the nitrile group with the following parameters: N–H = 1.841 Å, and 169.20° N···H–O angle. No thermal interconversion of syn- into anti- diastereomer was observed upon heating of crystals of one isomer under flow of Ar.