3 years ago

Switchable regioselectivity in amine-catalysed asymmetric cycloadditions

Switchable regioselectivity in amine-catalysed asymmetric cycloadditions
Zhi Zhou, Wei Xiao, Ying-Chun Chen, Yuan-Chun Zhou, Qin Ouyang, Wei Du, Zhou-Xiang Wang
Building small-molecule libraries with structural and stereogenic diversity plays an important role in drug discovery. The development of switchable intermolecular cycloaddition reactions from identical substrates in different regioselective fashions would provide an attractive protocol. However, this also represents a challenge in organic chemistry, because it is difficult to control regioselectivity to afford the products exclusively and at the same time achieve high levels of stereoselectivity. Here, we report the diversified cycloadditions of α′-alkylidene-2-cyclopentenones catalysed by cinchona-derived primary amines. An asymmetric γ,β′-regioselective intermolecular [6+2] cycloaddition reaction with 3-olefinic (7-aza)oxindoles is realized through the in situ generation of formal 4-aminofulvenes, while a different β,γ-regioselective [2+2] cycloaddition reaction with maleimides to access fused cyclobutanes is disclosed. In contrast, an intriguing α,γ-regioselective [4+2] cycloaddition reaction is uncovered with the same set of substrates, by employing an unprecedented dual small-molecule catalysis of amines and thiols. All of the cycloaddition reactions exhibit excellent regio- and stereoselectivity, producing a broad spectrum of chiral architectures with high structural diversity and molecular complexity.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2698

DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2698

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