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Intramolecular Hydrogen Bond Activation: Thiourea-Organocatalyzed Enantioselective 1,3-Dipolar Cycloaddition of Salicylaldehyde-Derived Azomethine Ylides with Nitroalkenes

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posted on 31.01.2018, 14:48 by Francisco Esteban, Wioleta Cieślik, Enrique M. Arpa, Andrea Guerrero-Corella, Sergio Díaz-Tendero, Josefina Perles, José A. Fernández-Salas, Alberto Fraile, José Alemán
An organocatalytic strategy for the synthesis of tetrasubstituted pyrrolidines with monoactivated azomethine ylides in high enantiomeric excess and excellent exo/endo selectivity is presented. The key to success is the intramolecular activation via hydrogen bonding through an o-hydroxy group, which allows the dipolar cycloaddition to take place in the presence of azomethine ylides bearing only one activating group. The intramolecular hydrogen bond in the azomethine ylide and the intermolecular hydrogen bond with the catalyst have been demonstrated by DFT calculations and mechanistic proofs to be crucial for the reaction to proceed.