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Stereoselective Functionalization of Racemic Cyclopropylzinc Reagents via Enantiodivergent Relay Coupling

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posted on 26.06.2020, 21:05 by Lun An, Fei-Fei Tong, Shu Zhang, Xingang Zhang
Efficient construction of optically pure molecules from readily available starting materials in a simple manner is an ongoing goal in asymmetric synthesis. As a straightforward route, transition-metal-catalyzed enantioconvergent coupling between widely available secondary alkyl electrophiles and organometallic nucleophiles has emerged as a powerful strategy to construct chiral center(s). However, the scope of racemic secondary alkylmetallic nucleophiles for this coupling remains limited in specific substrates because of the difficulties in stereoselective formation of the key alkylmetal intermediates. Here, we report an enantiodivergent strategy to efficiently achieve an array of synthetically useful chiral cyclopropanes, including chiral fluoroalkylated cyclopropanes and enantiomerically enriched cyclopropanes with chiral side chains, from racemic cyclopropylzinc reagents. This strategy relies on a one-pot, two-step enantiodivergent relay coupling process of the racemic cis-cyclopropylzinc reagents with two different electrophiles, which involves kinetic resolution of racemic cis-cyclopropylzinc reagents through a nickel-catalyzed enantioselective coupling with alkyl electrophiles, followed by a stereospecific relay coupling of the remaining enantiomeric cyclopropylzinc reagent with various electrophiles, to produce two types of functionalized chiral cyclopropanes with opposite configurations on the cyclopropane ring. These chiral cyclopropanes are versatile synthons for diverse transformations, rendering this strategy effective for obtaining structurally diversified molecules of medicinal interest.