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TBTU (2-[1H-benzotriazol-1-yl]-1,1,3,3-tetramethyluronium tetrafluoroborate; CAS No: 125700-67-6) and HBTU (2-[1H-benzotriazol-1-yl]-1,1,3,3-tetramethyluronium hexafluorophosphate; CAS No: 94790-37-1) are increasingly used as coupling reagents for the stepwise synthesis of peptides. There have been isolated reports describing the development of rhinitis, urticaria and contact dermatitis1–4 caused by these uronium compounds.
We evaluated six workers exposed to TBTU in a laboratory producing a wide variety of biologically active peptides. Three times a week, they weighed 30–50 g of TBTU powder into separate aliquots which were dissolved in dimethylformamide in closed vials and connected to an automated synthesiser. The survey included a detailed questionnaire and skin-prick tests with five common inhalant allergens, natural rubber latex, and freshly prepared dilutions of TBTU, HBTU and hydroxybenzotriazole (HOBt) (1 and 10 mg/ml) in sterile saline. The protocol of …
Funding: This work was supported by the Actions de Recherche Concertées de la Communauté Française de Belgique and the Fonds Scientifique CESI.
Competing interests: None.