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Generation of Donor/Donor Copper Carbenes through Copper-Catalyzed Diyne Cyclization: Enantioselective and Divergent Synthesis of Chiral Polycyclic Pyrroles

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posted on 08.10.2019 by Feng-Lin Hong, Ze-Shu Wang, Dong-Dong Wei, Tong-Yi Zhai, Guo-Cheng Deng, Xin Lu, Rai-Shung Liu, Long-Wu Ye
The generation of metal carbenes from readily available alkynes represents a significant advance in metal carbene chemistry. However, most of these transformations are based on the use of noble-metal catalysts and successful examples of such an asymmetric version are still very scarce. Here a copper-catalyzed enantioselective cascade cyclization of N-propargyl ynamides is reported, enabling the practical and atom-economical construction of diverse chiral polycyclic pyrroles in generally good to excellent yields with wide substrate scope and excellent enantioselectivities (up to 97:3 e.r.). Importantly, this protocol represents the first copper-catalyzed asymmetric diyne cyclization. Moreover, mechanistic studies revealed that the generation of donor/donor copper carbenes is presumably involved in this 1,5-diyne cyclization, which is distinctively different from the related gold catalysis, and thus it constitutes a novel way for the generation of donor/donor metal carbenes.