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Copper(II)-Catalyzed Reactions of α‑Keto Thioesters with Azides via C–C and C–S Bond Cleavages: Synthesis of N‑Acylureas and Amides

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journal contribution
posted on 02.02.2018 by Rajib Maity, Sandip Naskar, Indrajit Das
Cu­(II)-catalyzed reaction of α-keto thioesters with trimethylsilyl azide (TMSN3) proceeds with the transformation of the thioester group into urea through C–C and C–S bond cleavages, constituting a practical and straightforward synthesis of N-acylureas. When diphenyl phosphoryl azide (DPPA) is used instead as the azide source in an aqueous environment, primary amides are formed via substitution of the thioester group. The reactions are proposed to proceed through Curtius rearrangement of the initially formed α-keto acyl azide to generate an acyl isocyanate intermediate, which reacts further with an additional amount of azide or water and rearranges to afford the corresponding products. To demonstrate the potentiality of the method, one-step syntheses of pivaloylurea and isovaleroylurea, displaying anticonvulsant activities, have been carried out.

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