Nitroalkanes as electrophiles: synthesis of triazole-fused heterocycles with neuroblastoma differentiation activity†
We discovered a reaction of nitroalkanes with 2-hydrazinylquinolines, 2-hydrazinylpyridines and bis-2,4-dihydrazinylpyrimidines in polyphosphoric acid (PPA) affording 1,2,4-triazolo[4,3-a]quinolines, 1,2,4-triazolo[4,3-a]pyridines and bis[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-a:4′,3′-c]pyrimidines, respectively. The reaction expands the scope of heterocyclic annulations involving phosphorylated nitronates, believed to be the electrophilic intermediates formed from nitroalkanes in PPA. Several of the synthesized triazoles showed promising anticancer activity by inducing differentiation in neuroblastoma cancer cells. Due to the urgent need for novel differentiation agents for neuroblastoma therapy, this finding warrants further evaluation of this class of compounds against neuroblastoma.