Diastereoselective Au-Catalyzed Allene Cycloisomerizations to Highly Substituted Cyclopentenes

Site- and regiocontrolled Au-catalyzed allene carbocyclizations furnish highly substituted cyclopentenes in >1:1 dr. Significant substitution on the substrate is tolerated, with potential to install five contiguous stereocenters after alkene functionalization. Major challenges include identifying a Au/Cu catalyst that controls both the relative rates of allene epimerization/cyclization and the facial selectivity in addition of a metal enolate to the allene. Experiments to achieve stereodivergent cyclizations and transform key cyclopentenes into useful synthetic building blocks are described.