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  1. Direct coupling of unactivated alcohols remains a challenge in synthetic chemistry. Current approaches to cross-coupling of alcohol-derived electrophiles often involve activated alcohols such as tosylates or carbonates. We report the direct arylative substitution of homoallylic alcohols catalyzed by a nickel-bisphosphine complex as a facile method to generate allylic arenes. These reactions proceed via formation of an allylic alcohol intermediate. Subsequent allylic substitution with arylboroxine nucleophiles enables the formation of a variety of allylic arenes. The presence of p -methoxyphenylboronic acid is crucial to activate the allylic alcohol to achieve high product yields. 
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  2. The field of chemical modification of proteins has been dominated by random modification of lysines or more site-specific labeling of cysteines, each with attendant challenges. Recently, we have developed oxaziridine chemistry for highly selective modification of methionine called redox-activated chemical tagging (ReACT) but have not broadly tested the molecular parameters for efficient and stable protein modification. Here we systematically scanned methionines throughout one of the most popular antibody scaffolds, trastuzumab, used for antibody engineering and drug conjugation. We tested the expression, reactivities, and stabilities of 123 single engineered methionines distributed over the surface of the antibody when reacted with oxaziridine. We found uniformly high expression for these mutants and excellent reaction efficiencies with a panel of oxaziridines. Remarkably, the stability to hydrolysis of the sulfimide varied more than 10-fold depending on temperature and the site of the engineered methionine. Interestingly, the most stable and reactive sites were those that were partially buried, presumably because of their reduced access to water. There was also a 10-fold variation in stability depending on the nature of the oxaziridine, which was determined to be inversely correlated with the electrophilic nature of the sulfimide. Importantly, the stabilities of the best analogs were sufficient to support their use as antibody drug conjugates and potent in a breast cancer mouse xenograft model over a month. These studies provide key parameters for broad application of ReACT for efficient, stable, and site-specific antibody and protein bioconjugation to native or engineered methionines.

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  3. Abstract

    Direct covalent functionalization of large‐area single‐layer hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) with various polymer brushes under mild conditions is presented. The photopolymerization of vinyl monomers results in the formation of thick and homogeneous (micropatterned, gradient) polymer brushes covalently bound to hBN. The brush layer mechanically and chemically stabilizes the material and allows facile handling as well as long‐term use in water splitting hydrogen evolution reactions.

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