Bicyclic Systems Related to Taxol. A Direct Means for Implementing C-2 Oxygenation and Demonstration of the Feasibility of α-Ketol Equilibration in a Fully Oxygenated B-Ring Setting

The feasibility of α-ketol equilibration in a fully oxygenated B-ring setting for the rapid, enantioselective construction of an A/B bicyclic model related to Taxol has been examined. The key elements associated with this successful venture include selection of a proper array of protecting groups for the four hydroxyl groups present, suitable catalysis of the 1,2-pinacol-like shift, and an intrinsic dependence on the thermodynamic stabilities of the two α-ketol isomers. The key conversion of 13 to 14 is seen to be unidirectional and consequently to offer useful potential serviceability as more advanced thrusts toward Taxol are mounted.