The use of ethylation in the study of naturally occurring glycosides and partial methyl ethers of hydroxy flavones is discussed. This procedure renders the work simpler and more definite. Starting from ω-ethoxy res-and phloracetophenones, the preparation of mixed ethyl methyl ethers of the flavonols, fisetin, kæmpferol, and quercetin, with an ethoxyl in the 3-position and methoxyls in the other positions, is described and it is shown that these compounds are useful in the study of the 3-glycosides of these flavonols. The case of rutin has been used as a typical example.
As an illustration of the synthesis of fully ethylated compounds fisetin tetraethyl ether is made and as an example for the use of ethylation in the study of both 7-glycosides and 7-methyl ethers, O-3∶3′∶4′-triethyl-7-methyl-fisetin is synthesised.
The use of ethylation for establishing interrelationship between glycosides and partial methyl ethers of hydroxy flavones is illustrated with the case of quercimeritrin and rhamnetin. Quercimeritrin has been ethylated with diethyl sulphate and the ethylated glucoside hydrolysed and methylated. The product is a mixed ether of quercetin and is shown to be identical with O-tetraethyl rhamnetin.