tert-Butyloxycarbonyl protecting group

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Tert-butyloxycarbonyl protecting group

The tert-butyloxycarbonyl protecting group (BOC group) is a protecting group used in organic synthesis.

The BOC group can be added to the amine under aqueous conditions using di-tert-butyl dicarbonate in the presence of a base such as sodium bicarbonate. Protection of the amine can also be accomplished in acetonitrile solution using 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) as the base.

Removal of the BOC in amino acids can be accomplished with strong acids such as trifluoroacetic acid neat or in dichloromethane, or with HCl in methanol.[1][2][3] A complication may be the tendency of the t-butyl cation intermediate to alkylate other nucleophiles; scavengers such as anisole or thioanisole may be used.[4][5] Selective cleavage of the N-Boc group in the presence of other protecting groups is possible when using AlCl3.


  1. ^ R. M. Williams, P. J. Sinclair, D. E. DeMong, D. Chen, and D. Zhai (2003). "4-Morpholinecarboxylic acid, 6-oxo-2,3-diphenyl-, 1,1-dimethylethyl ester, (2S,3R)-". Org. Synth. 80: 18. 
  2. ^ E. A. Englund, H. N. Gopi, D. H. Appella (2004). "An Efficient Synthesis of a Probe for Protein Function: 2,3-Diaminopropionic Acid with Orthogonal Protecting Groups". Org. Lett. 6 (2): 213–215. doi:10.1021/ol0361599. PMID 14723531. 
  3. ^ D. M. Shendage, R. Fröhlich, G. Haufe (2004). "Highly Efficient Stereoconservative Amidation and Deamidation of α-Amino Acids". Org. Lett. 6 (21): 3675–3678. doi:10.1021/ol048771l. PMID 15469321. 
  4. ^ Lundt, Behrend F.; Johansen, Nils L.; Vølund, Aage; Markussen, Jan (1978). "Removal of t-Butyl and t-Butoxycarbonyl Protecting Groups with Trifluoroacetic acid". International Journal of Peptide and Protein Research 12 (5): 258–268. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3011.1978.tb02896.x. PMID 744685. 
  5. ^ Andrew B. Hughes. "1. Protection Reactions". In Vommina V. Sureshbabu, Narasimhamurthy Narendra. Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins in Organic Chemistry: Protection Reactions, Medicinal Chemistry, Combinatorial Synthesis 4. doi:10.1002/9783527631827.ch1.