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The following molecule, atracurium, is a very complex drug. It is a neuromuscular blocking agent and is related to the natural product tubocurarine.

The following molecule, atracurium, is a very complex drug. It is a neuromuscular blocking agent and is related to the natural product tubocurarine. Atracurium exhibits a very short half-life (20-min). The products of the fastest inactivation process are shown below.

Explain what mechanism is responsible for the formation of the products.

Hint: The acidic pKa of CH3(C=O)CH3graphicCH3(C=O)CH2 - is 20.

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