Alkoxyboration: Ring-Closing Addition of B–O σ Bonds across Alkynes

For nearly 70 years, the addition of boron–X σ bonds to carbon–carbon multiple bonds has been employed in the preparation of organoboron reagents. However, the significantly higher strength of boron–oxygen bonds has thus far precluded their activation for addition, preventing a direct route to access a potentially valuable class of oxygen-containing organoboron reagents for divergent synthesis. We herein report the realization of an alkoxyboration reaction, the addition of boron–oxygen σ bonds to alkynes. Functionalized <i>O</i>-heterocyclic boronic acid derivatives are produced using this transformation, which is mild and exhibits broad functional group compatibility. Our results demonstrate activation of this boron–O σ bond using a gold catalysis strategy that is fundamentally different from that used previously for other boron addition reactions.