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The area of covalent inhibitors is gaining momentum due to recently introduced clinical drugs, but libraries of these compounds are scarce. Multicomponent reaction (MCR) chemistry is well known for its easy access to a very large and diverse chemical space. Here, we show that MCRs are highly suitable to generate libraries of electrophiles based on different scaffolds and three-dimensional shapes and highly compatible with multiple functional groups. According to the building block principle of MCR, acrylamide, acrylic acid ester, sulfurylfluoride, chloroacetic acid amide, nitrile, and α,β-unsaturated sulfonamide warheads can be easily incorporated into many different scaffolds. We show examples of each electrophile on 10 different scaffolds on a preparative scale as well as in a high-throughput synthesis mode on a nanoscale to produce libraries of potential covalent binders in a resource- and time-saving manner. Our operational procedure is simple, mild, and step economical to facilitate future covalent library synthesis.

Original publication




Journal article


Science Advances

Publication Date