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Influence of Amino Acid Stereocenters on the Formation of Bicyclic N,O‑Acetals

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posted on 21.03.2014, 00:00 by Gonzalo Jiménez-Osés, Carlos Aydillo, Jesús H. Busto, María M. Zurbano, Jesús M. Peregrina, Alberto Avenoza
In recent years, our group has reported the highly diastereoselective acid-catalyzed N,O-acetalization/intramolecular transcarbamoylation cascade of reactions between protected α-amino acid derivatives (Ser and Thr) and tetramethoxyalkanes. The resulting oligocyclic N,O-acetals have been used as excellent chiral building blocks for asymmetric transformations such as diastereoselective alkylation of the α-position. We now evaluate the scope of the reaction with related non-natural α-amino acid derivatives. A combined experimental and theoretical study reveals the key influence of the α-carbon substitution (serine versus α-methylserine) and the relative configuration of α-/β-carbons (threonine versus allo-threonine) in the thermodynamic stability of the products and, as a consequence, the stereochemical outcome of the reaction. Notably, the complete diastereoselectivity achieved with natural amino acid precursors is completely lost with their non-natural analogues.