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Stereoselective Construction of Seven-Membered Rings with an All-Carbon Quaternary Center by Direct Tiffeneau−Demjanov-type Ring Expansion

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journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2009 by Takuya Hashimoto, Yuki Naganawa, Keiji Maruoka
Insertion of one methylene unit into the C−C bond of cyclohexanones is a potentially useful, straightforward method for the construction of seven-membered carbocycles. An especially appealing but largely unexplored method in this arena is the nucleophilic addition of diazoalkanes to the Lewis acid-activated cyclohexanones and subsequent ring expansion accompanied by the extrusion of nitrogen (direct Tiffeneau−Demjanov-type ring expansion). Our primary finding is the unprecedented insertion of α-alkyldiazoacetates to cyclohexanone and its heteroanalogues, generating seven-membered rings with one all-carbon quaternary center. On the basis of this finding, highly diastereoselective ring expansion of substituted cyclohexanones was developed, furnishing seven-membered rings with 1,4-quaternary-tertiary, 1,4-quaternary-quaternary, or 1,3,5-quaternary-tertiary-tertiary stereogenic centers in a single operation starting from readily available materials. The stereochemical outcome of the product can be easily predicted from the conformation of starting cyclohexanones. Enantioenriched products could be also accessed by the use of (−)-phenylmenthyl α-alkyldiazoacetates.