This paper presents a new protocol based on 3D molecular descriptors using QM calculations for use in CoMFA-like 3D-QSSR. The new method was developed and then applied to predict catalytic selectivity in the asymmetric alkylation of aldehydes catalyzed by Zn-aminoalcohols. The molecular descriptors are obtained straightforwardly from the electronic charge density function, (r), and the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) distributions. The chemically meaningful Molecular Shape Field (MSF) descriptor that accounts for the shape properties of the catalyst is defined from (r). Alignment independence was achieved by computing the product of the MSF and MEP values of pairs of points over a given distance range on a molecular isosurface and then selecting the product with the highest value. The new QSSR method demonstrated good predictive ability (q2 = 0.79) when full cross-validation procedures were carried out. Accurate predictions were made for a larger data set, although some deviations occurred in the predictions for catalytic systems with low enantiodiscrimination. Analysis of this QSSR model allows for the following: (1) evaluation of the contribution of each functional group to enantioselectivity and (2) the molecular descriptors to be related to previously proposed stereochemical models for the reaction under study.
New Quantum Mechanics-Based Three-Dimensional Molecular Descriptors for Use in QSSR Approaches: Application to Asymmetric Catalysis
J. Chem. Inf. Model. 2007, 47, 2228-2234.