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Stereoselectivity in (Acyloxy)borane-Catalyzed Mukaiyama Aldol Reactions

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posted on 31.05.2016, 00:00 by Joshua M. Lee, Xin Zhang, Per-Ola Norrby, Paul Helquist, Olaf Wiest
The origin of diastereo- and enantioselectivity in a Lewis acid-catalyzed Mukaiyama aldol reaction is investigated using a combination of dispersion corrected DFT calculations and transition state force fields (TSFF) developed using the quantum guided molecular mechanics (Q2MM) method. The reaction proceeds via a closed transition structure involving a nontraditional hydrogen bond that is 3.3 kJ/mol lower in energy than the corresponding open transition structure. The correct prediction of the diastereoselectivity of a Mukaiyama aldol reaction catalyzed by the conformationally flexible Yamamoto chiral (acyloxy) borane (CAB) requires extensive conformational sampling at the transition structure, which is achieved using a Q2MM-derived TSFF, followed by DFT calculations of the low energy conformational clusters. Finally, a conceptual model for the rationalization of the observed diastereo- and enantioselectivity of the reaction using a closed transition state model is proposed.