Rh(I)-catalyzed Pauson-Khand-type Cycloaddition Reaction of Ene-vinylidenecyclopropanes with Carbon Monoxide (CO)

An intramolecular Pauson-Khand type cycloaddition reaction of ene-vinylidenecyclopropanes with carbon monoxide has been established by using [Rh(COD)Cl]2 as the catalyst. The reaction was found to be highly efficient in solvents of 1,2-dichloroethane and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane to give excellent yields of 90–99%. The reaction provides easy access to a series of fused 6,5-ring structures containing spiro-cyclopropane units that are useful for drug design and development. A mechanism of this cycloaddition process has been proposed accounting for structures of resulting products that were unambiguously assigned by X-ray diffractional analysis.