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Synthesis of 3‑Alkylbenzoxazolones from N‑Alkyl‑N‑arylhydroxylamines by Contiguous O‑Trichloroacetylation, Trichloroacetoxy ortho-Shift, and Cyclization Sequence

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posted on 06.12.2013, 00:00 by Ram N. Ram, Vineet Kumar Soni
Benzoxazolone pharmacophore is present in clinical pharmaceuticals, drug candidates, and many compounds having a wide spectrum of biological activities. The methods available for the synthesis of benzoxazolones have limited diversity due to problems in accessibility and air-sensitivity of diversely substituted o-aminophenols from which they are generally prepared by cyclocarbonylation with phosgene or its equivalents. The present paper describes a mild method for the synthesis of 3-alkylbenzoxazolones from easily accessible and air-stable nitroarenes. Nitroarenes were converted to N-alkyl-N-arylhydroxylamines in two steps involving partial reduction to arylhydroxylamines followed by selective N-alkylation. Treatment of N-alkyl-N-arylhydroxylamines with trichloroacetyl chloride and triethylamine afforded 3-alkylbenzoxazolones generally in good yields through an uninterrupted three-step sequence involving O-trichloroacetylation, NCortho trichloroacetoxy shift, and cyclization in a single pot at ambient temperatures. The present method is mild, wide in scope, economical, and regioselective. Many sensitive groups like alkyl and aryl esters, amide, cyano, and the carbon–carbon double bond survive the reaction.