Harnessing Nucleophilicity of Allenol Ester with p-Quinone Methides via Gold Catalysis: Application to the Synthesis of Diarylmethine-Substituted Enones

A gold­(I)-catalyzed protocol for intermolecular 1,6-conjugate addition of nucleophilic allenol ester generated in situ through [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement with p-quinone methides (p-QMs) has been developed. The gold catalyst plays a dual role by the π-acid-triggered activation of alkynes and at the same time as a Lewis acid for activation of p-QMs toward nucleophilic attack. This method enables rapid access to a wide range of densely functionalized diarylmethine-substituted enones, a Morita-Baylis-Hillman (MBH) product with high selectivity, excellent yields, and broad substrate scope.