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Enantioselective Conjugate Addition Nitro-Mannich Reactions: Solvent Controlled Synthesis of Acyclic anti- and syn-β-Nitroamines with Three Contiguous Stereocenters

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2011, 00:00 by James C. Anderson, Gregory J. Stepney, Matthew R. Mills, Lisa R. Horsfall, Alexander J. Blake, William Lewis
We report an enantioselective conjugate addition nitro-Mannich reaction protocol which combines dialkylzinc, aromatic nitro alkene and imine to form two C−C bonds and three contiguous stereocenters in one reaction vessel. Absolute stereochemistry was controlled from the initial 1,4-addition of dialkylzinc to aromatic nitroalkenes by known copper−chiral ligand catalysts. The choice of solvent dictated the formation of either the syn,anti or syn,syn diastereoisomers, two of the four possible diastereoisomers. The syn,syn isomer is a rare example of a syn-selective nitro-Mannich reaction. The diastereoselectivity is dependent upon the presence or not of Zn(O2CCF3)2 in the reaction mixture and empirical transition state models are proposed to account for the observed stereochemical course of the two reaction conditions. The extent of enantioselectivity and structural diversity of the process is limited by current methodology for the catalytic asymmetric addition of dialkylzincs to nitrostyrenes. The synthetically versatile products are the most complex β-nitro amines prepared using the nitro-Mannich reaction and are formed in high yield and enantioselectivity.