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Phosphine-Catalyzed Annulations of Azomethine Imines: Allene-Dependent [3 + 2], [3 + 3], [4 + 3], and [3 + 2 + 3] Pathways

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posted on 31.08.2011, 00:00 by Risong Na, Chengfeng Jing, Qihai Xu, Hui Jiang, Xi Wu, Jiayan Shi, Jiangchun Zhong, Min Wang, Diego Benitez, Ekaterina Tkatchouk, William A. Goddard, Hongchao Guo, Ohyun Kwon
In this paper we describe the phosphine-catalyzed [3 + 2], [3 + 3], [4 + 3], and [3 + 2 + 3] annulations of azomethine imines and allenoates. These processes mark the first use of azomethine imines in nucleophilic phosphine catalysis, producing dinitrogen-fused heterocycles, including tetrahydropyrazolo-pyrazolones, -pyridazinones, -diazepinones, and -diazocinones. Counting the two different reaction modes in the [3 + 3] cyclizations, there are five distinct reaction pathwaysthe choice of which depends on the structure and chemical properties of the allenoate. All reactions are operationally simple and proceed smoothly under mild reaction conditions, affording a broad range of 1,2-dinitrogen-containing heterocycles in moderate to excellent yields. A zwitterionic intermediate formed from a phosphine and two molecules of ethyl 2,3-butadienoate acted as a 1,5-dipole in the annulations of azomethine imines, leading to the [3 + 2 + 3] tetrahydropyrazolo-diazocinone products. The incorporation of two molecules of an allenoate into an eight-membered-ring product represents a new application of this versatile class of molecules in nucleophilic phosphine catalysis. The salient features of this protocolthe facile access to a diverse range of nitrogen-containing heterocycles and the simple preparation of azomethine imine substratessuggest that it might find extensive applications in heterocycle synthesis.