Photoremovable protecting groups (PPGs) represent one of the main contemporary implementations of photochemistry in diverse fields of research and practical applications. For the past half century, organic and metal-complex PPGs were considered mutually exclusive classes, each of which provided unique sets of physical and chemical properties thanks to their distinctive structures. Here, we introduce the meso-methylporphyrin group as a prototype hybrid-class PPG that unites traditionally exclusive elements of organic and metal-complex PPGs within a single structure. We show that the porphyrin scaffold allows extensive modularity by functional separation of the metal-binding chromophore and up to four sites of leaving group release. The insertion of metal ions can be used to tune their spectroscopic, photochemical, and biological properties. We provide a detailed description of the photoreaction mechanism studied by steady-state and transient absorption spectroscopies and quantum-chemical calculations. Our approach applied herein could facilitate access to a hitherto untapped chemical space of potential PPG scaffolds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)