Improved Enantioselectivity in the Epoxidation of Cinnamic Acid Derivatives with Dioxiranes from Keto Bile Acids

The asymmetric epoxidation of substituted cinnamic acids has been obtained in the presence of different keto bile acid derivatives as optically active carbonyl inducers and Oxone as oxygen source. Predominant or almost exclusive formation of both enantiomeric epoxides is obtained (ee up to 95%) depending on the specific substitution at carbons C(7) and C(12) of the bile acid.