Some synthetically useful transformations of organosilicon compounds have been developed since the mid 1970s, based on the new concept that the silicon-carbon bonds are activated toward electrophilic cleavage via the formation of penta- and hexa-coordinate species. This review mainly consists of the following aspects: (1) a general concept for the activation of the silicon-carbon bond via penta- and hexa-coordinate species, (2) synthetic application of hexa-coordinate organopentafluorosilicates, and (3) development of the H2O2 oxidation of the silicon-carbon bond and its synthetic applications via the intramolecular hydrosilylation, silicon-tethered intramolecular radical cyclization and Diels-Alder reaction, and some silicon-containing organometallic reagents for nucleophilic hydroxymethylation and hydroxyallylation synthons.
This review focuses on the development of acid catalysis for selective organic transformations conducted in our laboratories for the past 30 years. Several important concepts in designing of catalysts are described with some examples. Further, recent developments in super Brønsted acid and their applications in a one-pot procedure to construct complex molecules with high diastereoselectivities are described.
Tetrodotoxin (TTX), contained in puffer, has become an extremely popular chemical tool in the physiological and pharmacological laboratories since our discovery of its channel blocking action in the early 1960s. This brief review describes the history of discovery of TTX action on sodium channels, and represents a story primarily of my own work. TTX inhibits voltage-gated sodium channels in a highly potent and selective manner without effects on any other receptor and ion channel systems. TTX blocks the sodium channel only from outside of the nerve membrane, and is due to binding to the selectivity filter resulting in prevention of sodium ion flow. It does not impairs the channel gating mechanism. More recently, the TTX-resistant sodium channels have been discovered in the nervous system and received much attention because of their role in pain sensation. TTX is now known to be produced not by puffer but by bacteria, and reaches various species of animals via food chain.
In the situation that it would not be able to produce model animals for mitochondrial diseases caused by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) with pathogenic mutations, we succeeded in generating mice with pathogenic deletion mutant mtDNA (ΔmtDNA), named “mito-mice”, by direct introduction of mitochondria with ΔmtDNA into mouse zygotes. In the mito-mice, accumulation of ΔmtDNA induced mitochondrial respiration defects in various tissues, resulting in mitochondrial disease phenotypes, such as low body weight, lactic acidosis, ischemia, myopathy, heart block, deafness, male infertility, and renal failure. Thus, mito-mice are the first model animal for mtDNA-based diseases, and the mice could be valuable for understanding precise pathogeneses and testing therapies of mitochondrial diseases. In the present review, we summarized reverse genetic studies using the mito-mice.